Frozen embryo questions
1 Replies
RKS - September 27

Well, my recent transfer of two fresh 8-cell, grade 1 embryos was not a success (I am 36 with secondary, male factor infertility; it was my first IVF cycle). I have four frozen embryos:
1) 8 cell, grade 2
2) 8 cell, grade 2
3) 6 cell, grade 2
4) 14 cell, grade 2
With these embryos, how many are likely to survive thawing & be available for transfer? In general, what is the rate of frozen cycle cancellation? Also, according to my clinic's policy, assisted hatching is done routinely in women older than 36 or in those with prior failed cycles, so I will now be a candidate for this, I guess. When frozen embryos are thawed & grown for a little while, are they then blastocysts when they are transferred? Do blastocysts also get assisted hatching?
Thanks, RS

 

Dr Smith - September 28

The definition of "survival" for cell-stage embryos is a bit misleading. Most labs consider an embryo to have "survived" if >50% of the cells remain intact after thawing (e.g. 5 cells intact in an embryo that was at the 8-cell stage prior to freezing). Therefore, by this definition, it is likely that all the embryos will "survive" the thaw. However, if the embryos looses cells during the thawing process, it's developmental capacity is compromised. One way of determining the developmental capacity of the the thawed embryo is to continue to culture the embryo to the blastocyst stage (about 2 more days after thawing) prior to transfer. In practice, very few clinics do this. That is because very few embryos reach the blastocyst stage after thawing and they do not want to look responsible.

Assisted hatching is routine for cell-stage frozen-thawed embryos. If they culture the embryos to the blastocyst stage, they can also be hatched prior to transfer.

 

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