Embryo
Freezing Turkey

While egg freezing is the freezing of unfertilized eggs, embryo freezing is the process of fertilizing the eggs with sperm from a male partner or donor, and then freezing the embryos.

Embryo
Freezing

Embryo freezing is a technique that is becoming increasingly popular among women as an option for fertility preservation. Vitrification, a process commonly referred to as “flash freezing,” is used to remove water from the embryo, replacing it with a cryoprotectant solution which preserves the integrity of the embryo.

This process is often implemented for social or medical reasons, such as when a woman needs to receive radiation or chemotherapy treatments that may damage her eggs. For women who choose to freeze their embryos, this process offers them the chance to store them for future use in a safe and reliable manner.

Embryo Freezing Step by Step Process

Step 1

Under the guidance of a fertility specialist, the eggs are harvested in an outpatient procedure called egg retrieval. This procedure is done under light sedation, and an ultrasound guides the specialist to collect eggs through a needle and catheter inserted through the wall of the vagina. The number of eggs collected depends on your response to hormone medication, and these eggs can be frozen unfertilized.

Step 2

The embryologist fertilizes one or more harvested eggs with a partner or donor’s sperm to create an embryo. The embryo’s growth is observed for five to seven days in a petri dish, and genetic testing is performed if the donor is known to be a carrier of certain genetic conditions. Embryos are graded to determine the ones most likely to successfully grow when implanted.

Step 3

Highly graded embryos can be frozen at this point through a process known as vitrification. Vitrification replaces the water in the embryo cells with a protectant fluid and uses flash-freezing with liquid nitrogen to avoid forming ice crystals that could harm the embryo’s cells.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How likely is embryo freezing to result in a pregnancy?

The likelihood of pregnancy from embryo transfer depends largely on the age of the woman when the embryos are created. Women aged 35 and under tend to have the highest likelihood of resulting in a pregnancy. It is also important to consider that more than 95% of frozen embryos survive the process of thawing.

What are the risks of freezing embryos?

Despite the low risk of complications, there are a number of risks associated with egg retrieval, such as complications from the sedation and infection or damage to the bladder, bowel or a blood vessel due to the use of a needle and catheter.

Additionally, patients may experience an overstimulation of the ovaries from the medications prescribed, known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. These risks are closely monitored during the procedure.

Where are frozen embryos stored?

Frozen embryos are stored and monitored at our UK Turkey Health centre. The embryos can be safely preserved for up to ten years or even longer, depending on the circumstances.

From £450
Treatment Price
  • Freezing and Storage

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