Because IVF stimulates the production of excess eggs, and the trend is to transfer one embryo (single embryo transfer) or two embryos in an attempt to reduce multiple pregnancies, many fertility patients will have excess embryos they won’t use in their initial IVF cycle.
Most IVF labs freeze embryos with a process called vitrification, a fast freezing process. Studies have shown that vitrified embryos have a much better survival rate than embryos that were frozen with a slow freeze process. The embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen until they are ready for use.
A month prior to your frozen IVF cycle, your fertility doctor will prescribe birth control pills. You will use estrogen and progesterone to prepare your uterine lining. The embryos will be thawed and depending on how they were frozen, they may need to further develop in the lab. Your doctor will time the transfer to coincide with the development of your uterine lining.
Frozen embryos allow for simpler and less expensive treatment than a fresh IVF cycle and offer comparable success rates. Patients often use frozen embryos to complete their family. IVFAdvantage, the only multi-cycle discount IVF program created by patients for patients, allows you to undergo two fresh and two frozen IVF cycles for one low price.