An article published in the December issue of Reproductive BioMedicine Online reports a new method of transferring embryos that may revolutionize the clinical and laboratory practice.
The practice of freezing and transferring embryos is widening and with that so do the concerns that the freezing process may interfere with the viability of embryos. The new study looked at the difference between using frozen then thawed embryos verses fresh embryos and how that plays into viability and miscarriage rates.
What the study found was miscarriage was less likely to occur after using fresh embryos then if they had transferred thawed embryos. Not only that but the age of the embryo when transferred seemed to have some play in viability and miscarriage rates as well. Yueping Alex Wang from the University of New South Whales and the team retrospectively looked at 52,874 clinical pregnancies recorded on the Australian and New Zealand Assisted Reproduction Database (ANZARD) between 2004 and 2008.
The study assessed the association between miscarriage and transfer of fresh or thawed embryos at cleavage/blastocyst stages, number of embryos transferred, IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and woman’s demographics.
Their data showed that the age of the embryos and the method of transferring (frozen vs. fresh) were very closely related to the miscarriage rates in favor of using fresh embryos.
Overall the miscarriage rate was 18.7%; younger women (under 35 years old) being almost 3 times less likely to miscarry than women over 40 years of age. Also, women who had a single embryo transfer were less likely to miscarry than if two embryos were transferred. The authors proposed that developing a practice model of “transferring fresh blastocysts and freezing of cleavage-stage embryos” would reduce miscarriage rates after IVF and help eliminate anxiety many feel while undergoing IVF treatments.
:: What are your thoughts? Do you think this is an important finding for those undergoing IVF treatment? ::
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