Embryo freezing

Fertility Treatment using frozen embryos

Excess good quality embryos can be frozen instead of being transferred to the womb

What is Embryo Freezing?

Embryos can be frozen as part of a standard IVF cycle where any excess embryos of good quality not transferred are frozen or they can be frozen as a stand-alone process for later use for fertility preservation purposes.

Any embryos frozen can be thawed and transferred in a future cycle that is a much simpler process. Often this involves only monitoring of a natural cycle for ovulation at which point embryo thaw and transfer can be appropriately timed (without the need for significant drug treatment or the invasive collection procedure.) If the woman's cycle is irregular we may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which will allow us to prepare the lining of the uterus for frozen embryo transfer.

Embryo freezing post IVF embryo transfer
: Following embryo transfer on Day 5-6, any extra blastocysts of top quality can be cryopreserved and stored for up to 10 years for future use. Due to our careful selection of only what we deem suitable for freezing, these embryos have >90% thaw survival rate.

Please be aware
: Patients are also responsible for keeping in touch with the Lister Fertility Clinic and notifying us of any change of address. The storage period is governed by law and we do not need your consent to remove these embryos from storage at the completion of the statutory period.
Treatments using frozen embryos at the Lister Fertility Clinic have now produced over 2,200 babies.

How successful is embryo freezing?

Although historically frozen embryos are suggested to have lower success rates, the difference with fresh is now questioned. Recent studies in various different patient groups suggest that if you directly compare top quality fresh and frozen, the frozen embryos yield a similar pregnancy outcome, along with a lower chance of obstetric complications such as preterm labour and fetal growth restriction.

Embryo freezing as fertility preservation

As there is a longer history of success with embryo freezing than egg freezing, women within a relationship may opt to undergo ovarian stimulation as for a standard IVF cycle, fertilise eggs with partner sperm and store these embryos for later use.

This may offer her a better chance of a successful pregnancy in the future than using her older "fresh" eggs, which may be lower in both quality and quantity. In this scenario, where we are not aiming to select and transfer the best embryo, they are again frozen at the "Blastocyst" stage to give us information on embryo quality prior to freezing.

Our team

We work with leading fertility experts across a range of medical fields, including gynaecology and urology.

That means you’ll be supported by a whole team of experts, from consultants, embryologists and sonographers to counsellors and experienced fertility-trained nurse practitioners.

Our locations

From complex fertility treatment and surgery to diagnostic tests and scans, we provide access to exceptional fertility and reproductive care across our network of fertility clinics.

Get in touch

If you want to book an appointment with one of our fertility specialists, or if you have any questions about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

You can also book an appointment at one of our fertility clinics. Simply click the links below, or call our team on: 020 7881 2000


Request an appointment at Lister Fertility Clinic, Chelsea

Request an appointment at Lister Fertility Clinic, The Portland Hospital

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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