The association between embryo storage time and treatment success in women undergoing freeze-all embryo transfer

There is an inverted U-shaped relationship between embryo storage time and treatment success in women with high ovarian response in freeze-all embryo transfer cycles.
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VOLUME 118, ISSUE 3, P513-521

Authors:

Kai-Lun Hu, M.D., Sarah Hunt, M.B.B.S., Dan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., Rong Li, M.D., Ph.D. , Ben W. Mol, Ph.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To investigate the relationship between the embryo frozen time and live birth rate (LBR) in women having a freeze-all cycle.


Design

Retrospective cohort study.


Setting

Academic hospital.


Patient(s)

Women who underwent their first vitrified-warmed cycles from January 2013 to December 2019.


Intervention(s)

Embryo storage time.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

The primary outcome was the LBR.


Result(s)

A total of 14,928 women were eligible for the analysis. Women with the frozen time of transferred embryos for 2–5 months were associated with a higher LBR compared with other groups. The results were confirmed by an inverted U curve in the restricted cubic splines before as well as after adjustment for covariables, which suggested that an embryo storage time of 3–4 months was associated with the highest LBR. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that the inverted U curve relationship between embryo storage time and LBR was only observed in women with the high response. Sensitivity analyses in women with at least one good-quality embryo for transfer, in women aged <36 years at embryo transfer, or in women with double cleavage embryo transfer showed that the association remained valid. The association was weakened in women with single blastocyst transfer probably because of the small sample size in these women.


Conclusion(s)

An inverted U-shaped relationship was found between embryo storage time and treatment success in women with high ovarian response in freeze-all embryo transfer cycles. Prolonged storage time of >6 months was associated with reduced pregnancy rates.

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