Freezing Your Embryos: Secure the Success of Future Fertility Treatments
Women and couples who are not quite ready to have a family or want to explore in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the future often feel that their options are limited when it comes to fertility preservation. But at Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we offer an advanced and highly successful form of fertility preservation—freezing embryos. If you have already selected a sperm source, freezing your embryos can help you preserve healthy embryos (fertilized eggs) for future use. Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan want you to achieve your dreams of becoming a parent, so our fertility clinics serving Los Angeles, CA, Encino, and Bakersfield offer various fertility treatment options that can be tailored to your unique needs.
What Is Embryo Freezing?
Like egg freezing, sperm freezing, and ovarian tissue freezing, embryo freezing is a form of fertility preservation that allows patients to store embryos for future use. During embryo freezing, the fertilized egg is frozen when it is five days old. This is because embryos that are five days old have already passed many of the critical barriers required for the embryo to become a baby. Frozen embryos can be stored for several years and later be implanted in the uterus using the latest techniques. Freezing embryos is usually a better option for families who have already selected a sperm source, whether it be a partner or a donor.
What to Expect during the Process
The process of freezing your embryos can span several months, but our team will guide you throughout the entire process.
Dr. Winkler and Dr. Kalan will begin by prescribing a carefully selected set of hormones and medications that are designed to stimulate egg production. Rather than releasing just one fertile egg per month, these medications allow a woman to release many eggs to be fertilized.
Our doctors will then extract eggs from the ovaries during a minor outpatient procedure. For your comfort, you will be given sedation administered by a trained anesthesiologist. We will use ultrasound technology to ensure accurate egg extraction.
The eggs are then mixed with the selected sperm in a specially designed container that is then incubated overnight. Families can also choose to fertilize the eggs via an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to boost the chances of successful fertilization.
Our doctors will then freeze the embryos by rapidly cooling them in liquid nitrogen in a process known as vitrification. The temperature is carefully selected to preserve the delicate embryo. Frozen embryos can be stored for several years until you are ready to have children. When the time comes, our fertility specialists will use a special thawing process to ease the embryo back to body temperature and transfer it into the uterus. Our doctors can accurately predict which embryos have the highest potential for implantation.
Benefits of Embryo Freezing
Compared to egg freezing, embryo freezing provides patients with more accurate expectations about the likelihood of a pregnancy. Unlike egg freezing or sperm freezing alone, embryo freezing also allows our fertility specialists to perform preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). This advanced screening gives us information about the embryo's chromosomal makeup and gender. This allows potential parents to choose the healthiest embryos for implantation.
Compared to egg freezing, embryo freezing provides patients with more accurate expectations about the likelihood of a pregnancy.
Research has found that embryo freezing does not increase the risk of abnormalities in children, making it a healthy, low-risk option for families who want to pursue IVF at a later date. Our use of advanced vitrification freezing techniques also helps us secure higher success rates compared to traditional freezing methods. Frozen embryos can be successfully stored for several decades due to our freezing and storing techniques.
Preserve Your Dream of Having a Family
Freezing your embryos can help you conceive a healthy baby when you are ready. To find out if embryo freeing is an option for you, schedule a consultation at Los Angeles Reproductive Center by requesting an appointment online or calling us (818) 946-8051.