When considering IVF treatment, it is important to understand the difference between a fresh embryo transfer and a delayed embryo transfer.
Fresh embryo transfer is an option in which the embryo is transferred back into the woman’s uterus during the same ovulation cycle in which the eggs were retrieved and fertilized. This typically occurs five to six days after fertilization.
Delayed embryo transfer is an option during IVF treatment in which the fertilized embryos are frozen for future transfer to the woman’s uterus.
Instead of implanting embryos while the body’s cycle is altered by IVF, eggs are first retrieved, grown in a lab for five to six days and then frozen. Freezing techniques have made significant strides in recent years. Aspire uses vitrification which is the process of freezing so rapidly that the water molecules do not have time to form ice crystals. It is a more complicated and successful process than the slow-freeze method of the past.
People often wonder if freezing hurts the embryo; the answer is no. The process preserves the embryo in time and allows for the option of genetic screening to test for certain genetic medical conditions like Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Anemia. Genetic testing can also provide the gender of the embryo. The embryo can be frozen indefinitely or until the women is ready to become pregnant.
Once the uterus environment recovers from the stress of IVF, and has returned to a more normal cycle, the embryo is then thawed and implanted. These advanced techniques more closely resemble natural conception and result in increased pregnancy and live birth rates, decreased miscarriages, and healthier babies. Delayed Embryo Transfer during IVF greatly increases the chance for successful implantation.