Learn more about embryo freezing at our San Antonio fertility center
Embryo freezing at our San Antonio fertility center offers IVF patients the opportunity to transfer embryos at a later time. During a typical IVF cycle, multiple eggs are taken from the ovary (or ovaries) and exposed to sperm. The eggs that fertilize are called embryos, and are watched as they grow over the next five to seven days. The embryos that continue to grow normally will have a few hundred cells by this point and be called blastocysts. If a blastocyst has the right structure and number of cells, it can be transferred into the uterus or frozen in a process called vitrification.
A look at embryo freezing
Once embryos are vitrified (frozen), their growth stops until later when they are warmed and used in a frozen embryo transfer cycle. Embryos can be vitrified for months or years. Embryo freezing at our San Antonio fertility center allows for the preservation of all viable embryos that make it to the finish line. Some patients can build their entire family based on one IVF egg retrieval, with subsequent transfers for each pregnancy and delivery over several years.
Benefits of embryo freezing
Vitrification also allows our fertility specialists to use special tools to enhance the chance of pregnancy. Many patients elect to do genetic testing of the embryo (PGT-A) to screen out embryos that are not genetically normal. This is especially common in patients with recurrent miscarriage or in patients who are 35 years old or older. Embryo freezing gives us the time necessary to get the genetic testing results and optimize the selection of the best embryo for transfer.
Also, some patients will experience high levels of estrogen and/or progesterone during IVF cycle stimulation. This can negatively impact success rates and increase the chances of a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Vitrification of the embryos and delay of the transfer allows our team to maximize the chance of pregnancy and minimize the chance of complications related to overstimulation of the ovaries.
Contact our fertility specialists to learn more about embryo freezing and our laboratory’s long history of providing excellent embryo freezing results for our patients.