At Mount Elizabeth Fertility Centre, we routinely apply a laboratory technique known as freeze-all IVF. In the past, the standard protocol was transferring fresh embryos during IVF. Now, advancements to the freezing process give couples more options than before.
Vitrification is a method for the safe freezing of blastocysts, where the process produces a glass-like solidification of living cells that avoids the formation of ice crystals. This is important in the embryology world as ice crystal formation can be extremely damaging to frozen embryos.
Vitrification in IVF allows for better survival rates of thawed embryos and improved pregnancy rates after frozen transfer procedures. This translates to better pregnancy outcomes, along with a lowered chance of obstetric complications such as pre-term labour or fetal growth restriction.
Quality blastocysts (advanced day 5 or day 6 embryos) that remain after the end of a treatment cycle will be saved, via vitrification, for future use. When needed, the frozen blastocysts are thawed for transfer, leading to ideal chances for a positive outcome upon harvesting of the eggs.
The freeze-all blastocysts strategy is especially beneficial for women who are diagnosed
with low ovarian reserves or women who encounter poor ovarian response during IVF treatment.
Older women, or even cancer patients who wish to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing
gonadotoxic treatments, may also choose to benefit from this procedure.