Clinical rationale for cryopreservation of entire embryo cohorts in lieu of fresh transfer

Frozen embryo transfer is now competitive with fresh transfer and may be superior in some cases. Numerous factors should be considered when deciding between them.


Bruce S. Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., Said T. Daneshmand, M.D., Forest Garner, M.S., Martha Aguirre, Ph.D., Cynthia Hudson, M.S.

Volume 102, Issue 1, Pages 3-9


Recent dramatic increases in success rates with frozen–thawed embryo transfer (FET) are encouraging, as are numerous findings of several reduced risks with FET when compared with fresh transfer. These reduced risks include low birth weight and prematurity, among others. However, FET is also associated with increased risks of macrosomia and large for gestational age. There have been reports of greater implantation and pregnancy rates with FET than with fresh autologous embryo transfer, suggesting superior endometrial receptivity in the absence of ovarian stimulation. As cryo-technology evolves, there is potential for further increase in FET success rates, but for now it may be best to follow an individualized approach, balancing fresh transfer and embryo cohort cryopreservation options while considering patient characteristics, cycle parameters, and clinic success rates.

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