Both Fresh, Frozen Embryos Offer Similar Chances of Baby after IVF

Both Fresh, Frozen Embryos Offer Similar Chances of Baby after IVF

The two studies involved almost 3,000 women undergoing IVF who were randomly assigned to receive either frozen or fresh embryos.

The researchers also found that using frozen embryos resulted in a lower risk of the woman developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a condition that sometimes affects women undergoing fertility treatment.

While women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have a better chance of pregnancy and live birth in using frozen then thawed embryos for implantation, women without PCOS have nearly equally effective results when using either frozen or fresh embryos, Reuters reports.

Rates of live birth after the first embryo transfer were 34% in the frozen embryo group, and 32% in the fresh embryo group. In the fresh embryo group, ongoing pregnancy occurred in 35% of the women and in the frozen embryo group, ongoing pregnancy occurred in 36%.

In-Depth [randomized controlled trial]: This multicenter, randomized controlled trial enrolled 2157 ovulatory women with infertility to undergo either frozen-embryo or fresh-embryo transfer in a 1:1 block randomization pattern.

The researchers recruited 2,157 women with normal ovulation who were beginning their first round of in vitro fertilization.

Researchers from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Vietnam and University of Adelaide in Australia showed that ongoing pregnancy rates and live births were equivalent in a group of IVF women implanted with frozen embryos compared with fresh embryos.

The study was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. A lower risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome among women in the frozen-embryo group was detected (0.6% frozen-embryo vs 2.0% fresh-embryo; RR, 0.32, 95% CI; 0.14 to 0.74; p = 0.0005).

The study investigated nearly 800 women who had infertility not related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones that can lead to infertility.

While many clinics are moving completely away from fresh embryo transfers, the freezing process adds additional costs in IVF and does not result in higher rates of live births.

Together, these factors prompted many clinics to advocate freezing of all embryos. These findings dispute figures from 2010 that claimed that frozen embryos were less likely to result in pregnancy.

"We shouldn't be freezing embryos across the board [for all IVF cycles] if it makes no difference", says Dr. Christos Coutifaris, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and chief of reproductive endocrinology at University of Pennsylvania, who was also not involved in the study.

To curb these concerns, researchers on Wednesday said that the success rate of frozen embryo transfers for IVF is nearly the same as, or even better than, those using fresh ones. "The study took just over a year to recruit participants, which is unheard of according to Western standards". "And that's reassuring for people who do a lot of frozen embryo transfer, which most of us are doing".

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