IVF treatment Perth | Dr Hunter IVF & fertility specialist in Perth
IVF Treatment Cycle: Fresh vs Frozen
For many years, the general rule has been that fresh embryo transfers are more successful than frozen embryo transfers, which, when thawed, are transferred to a woman’s uterus. However, what is the difference between these two techniques in the IVF cycle?
Your first IVF cycle
In your first IVF cycle, after the ovaries have been stimulated to produce extra eggs, fresh embryos are transferred. If there are more embryos than needed for this cycle, the excess embryos are frozen for use in future IVF cycles.
As a specialist, it's one of my top values to aim for good communication. It means understanding you and your partner, including how you feel and how it impacts your life. Good communication also includes checking in to make sure that you are as clear as possible about all aspects of the treatment.
Pro and cons of a fresh IVF cycle
Fresh cycles have a long history of success and have been used for decades in IVF treatment. In a fresh IVF cycle, you will have hyperstimulation with hormone treatment to grow and develop multiple eggs. .
Once this has happened, the eggs are harvested and fertilised with sperm. Two to five days later, the embryos which have developed the best are then transferred into your uterus.
Of course, one of the advantages is that if you are successful with your first, fresh cycle, you don’t have to go through the hormone injection treatment again unless you want to have another child later on.
Fertility medications are demanding on your body, and higher levels of hormone medications are required for ovarian stimulation than are needed when frozen embryos are transferred. However, remember that you can’t have a frozen cycle without first going through ovarian stimulation and the whole laboratory procedure to develop embryos, whether you are going to use them fresh or frozen.
Pros and cons of a frozen IVF cycle
When you have a frozen cycle, you don’t have to go through the procedures of a fresh IVF cycle. You do have to use either hormone treatment to stimulate just one follicle to develop and then ovulate or oestrogen and progesterone to thicken the uterine lining and prepare it to receive the embryo transfer, but these medications are generally less expensive and have a lesser side effect profile than the ovarian hyperstimulation medications.
Many women find frozen embryo cycles are less stressful than fresh cycles because they don’t have to worry about the number of eggs produced or if there will be viable embryos since those procedures have already been done. Another advantage of this cycle is that you can plan the date of the transfer months and schedule your time around it.
Your chances of success via this method are about the same as they were when the embryos were first frozen because freezing keeps them from ageing and the freezing technique used, vitrification, is proven to do no harm to the embryos.
What is the best option for me?
Dr Tamara Hunter will discuss which option will be best for you taking into consideration your medical history and other circumstances.
Dr Tamara Hunter
Dr Tamara Hunter is the only female Certified Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) in Perth. "My role is to help you identifying the problem, and choosing the right treatment with you and your family. In the Fertility area I help with identifying the causes why you're not falling pregnant, or assist with sperm, egg or embryo preservation."
IVF treatment can be used to overcome a range of fertility issues.
Fertility specialists can use techniques such as pre-implantation genetic testing to ensure the best embryos are used in your IVF journey.
Your IVF Journey
IVF isn't something that can be done quickly. Read more about the journey when you consider IVF treatment.