Elective freeze all cycles.
What is an elective freeze all cycle?
In a normal IVF cycle, one to two fresh embryos are transferred a few days after the egg collection and any remaining suitable embryos are frozen. Elective freeze all cycles involve creating embryos using IVF or ICSI and then choosing to freeze them all so no embryos are transferred in the ‘fresh’ cycle. The embryos are thawed a few months later and transferred to the patient’s womb as part of a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle. Elective freeze all cycles can be used routinely to reduce a patient’s chances of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
Risks of elective freeze all cycle
There are no known risks, however, there’s always a risk that one or more embryos may not survive.
Research into elective freeze all cycle
Research into freeze all cycles is progressing quickly. There is some evidence that the body’s hormonal response to fertility drugs can affect the lining of the womb, which makes it more difficult for the embryos to implant.
Freezing the embryos means they can be transferred back into the patient when the womb lining is well developed. There is also evidence that while the birthweight of babies born from normal fresh IVF cycles is lower, from FET cycles it is higher, closer to naturally conceived babies. Since birthweight is associated with risk of disease in later life, freeze all cycles may be safer for the baby.
Some research suggests that the chances of having a baby are increased by using frozen embryo transfers (FETs) rather than fresh transfers. Currently, doctors don’t know with enough confidence whether freeze all cycles are more effective than conventional IVF or ICSI at increasing your chances of having a baby. However, there is no evidence that freeze all cycles decrease your chances of having a baby.
Current HFEA grading
For more information, please visit the HFEA website