Storage & Transfer of Frozen Embryos
What is frozen embryo storage?
Embryo cryopreservation is the process of freezing and storing viable embryos for later use.
Many patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment have multiple embryos remaining after a treatment cycle and may want to consider storing them for later transfer. Embryos can be used immediately for another attempt at pregnancy if the initial IVF cycle is unsuccessful, or, the embryos can be used for a future attempt at pregnancy for a sibling if the initial cycle is successful.
Some patients undergoing IVF choose to have preimplantation genetic diagnostic testing on their embryos. This treatment involves removing embryo cells for diagnostic testing and freezing the embryos while the studies are completed. Afterwards, healthy embryos are then thawed for uterine transfer.
Fresh or Frozen?
Initially, the plan was to implant an embryo shortly after the egg retrieval, but Dr. Murray recommended freezing the embryos and waiting.
What is frozen embryo transfer?
After an embryo is cryopreserved it can be thawed and transferred into a women’s uterus to achieve pregnancy. This process is called frozen embryo transfer or FET.
Babies born utilizing this process are just as healthy as those using a fresh cycle embryo transfer (embryos that have recently been fertilized in the lab and not frozen).
Tennessee Reproductive Medicine accepts frozen embryos from other facilities for future FET cycles.
Transferring frozen embryos to TRM
There are many reasons a patient may wish to transfer frozen embryo storage to TRM:
- Relocation or the desire for embryo(s) to be closer to home
- Current storage center may have closed
- Plans to use TRM for future frozen embryo cycles.
How to arrange transfers of embryo(s)
Interested individuals must first register as a TRM patient, complete appropriate paperwork including consents for transfer of the embryo(s), and provide all medical records.
Patients must also notify the clinic currently storing the embryo(s) of their intent to relocate embryo(s) to TRM, and complete any corresponding consent forms and requests required by the current clinic.
Once these are completed, TRM will work with the original clinic to transfer embryo(s) to TRM. Upon receiving the embryo(s), TRM’s staff will prepare the patient for an FET cycle, if desired, or continue to store the embryos until future use.