Embryo Freezing

Preserve your good quality embryos
in preparation for any subsequent treatment

INTRODUCTION
Embryos can be frozen as part of your IVF treatment cycle where any excess embryos of notable good quality have not been transferred, or embryos can be frozen as a stand-alone process for fertility preservation purposes. All frozen embryos are stored on site at our clinic in accordance with HFEA regulations.
However, you should be aware that not all eggs will survive the freezing/thawing process. At IVF London we use the advanced technology of Vitrification to freeze the eggs which yields survival rates in excess of 90%. If you decide to proceed, your consultant can explain the procedure and risks in more detail during your consultation.
Why?
If you are undertaking an IVF cycle, you will be advised of the availability of any excess good quality embryos that can be frozen in preparation for any subsequent treatment. Alternatively, if you are likely to be undergoing medical treatment for cancer or other illness which may affect your fertility in the future, you may choose to create embryos now with your partner, to preserve your fertility ready for use in a future treatment cycle.

Our councellors are always available to discuss the legal implications of consent withdrawal once embryos are frozen and hence may advise patients undergoing fertility preservation for medical reasons to consider freezing part of their gametes as this gives them the sole right of their use in the future.

How?
Cryopreservation of embryos involves removing any water within the cells of the embryo followed by rapidly cooling the embryos to –196ºC and storing them in liquid nitrogen. All cryopreservation at IVF London is performed using vitrification, which has been found to produce higher survival and live birth rates when compared to the alternative methods of freezing (known as ͚slow-freezing͛). Embryo survival can only be assessed upon thawing of the embryo. Not all embryos survive the freezing and thawing process, but on average, over 95% of blastocysts will survive.
What Next?
If you have requested cryopreservation of your embryos as a stand-alone procedure, you will be required to undertake part of an IVF cycle up to the point of egg collection. Once your eggs are collected and fertilized using IVF/ICSI/IMSI, the embryos would be monitored and frozen at any time between days 3 to 6. Our embryologist will select the best embryos to freeze based on quality.

The HFEA allows embryos to be stored for up to ten years initially. This period can be extended in certain circumstances for up to 55 years, in 10 year increments.

When you choose to use your frozen embryos, IVF London will prepare for a frozen embryo transfer (FET).

WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS/RISKS
If you have requested that excess embryos are frozen as a result of an IVF cycle, there are no risks to you as a patient, other than those explained in our IVF treatment page.

You and your partner will be required to complete consent forms at the clinic which include how long you wish to store your embryos, what should happen in the event of death of either partner or in the event that the embryos remain unused. It is important to be aware that you or your partner (or donor) may change your minds at any time about the use of these embryos in future treatment. If your partner or a donor withdraws their consent, you will not be able to use the embryos.  You can contact IVF London at any time to change your consent forms.

STORAGE REGULATIONS AND CONSENT
As with both sperm and embryo freezing, there are legal regulations regarding the freezing and storage of eggs. HFEA requires that you complete consent documentation which outlines the length of storage, what the eggs are to be used for, what happens to any stored samples after you die and what happens to them if they remain unused.  You can contact IVF London at any time to change your consent forms.

Why Choose Us?

Here are some facts about your fertility journey with us that we’d like to share with you:

Every evaluation and treatment plan is uniquely tailored to meet your individual needs
You will have access to leading professionals, with over 35 years combined expertise, providing you with confidence and reassurance in your fertility diagnosis and subsequent treatment
Our multidisciplinary team includes specialists in fertility, urology, nutrition, counselling, genetics, endocrinology, haematology and weight management to provide a comprehensive range of support as and when you need it
We will work with you closely to understand your individual circumstances, identify any problems and agree with you, the best course of action to help make your dream a reality
We will always be honest and open about your chances of success with treatment.
Your comfort and care is always our top priority
Our focus remains entirely on you as an individual, your unique needs and your wellbeing
All investigations and treatments are provided within our new state-of-the-art clinic based in Elstree which offers a spacious environment with comfortable surroundings, to enhance your care and experience. We offer investigations and scans at our satellite locations too.
Our friendly consultant-led team is here to support you at every step throughout your fertility journey
Pregnancy scan
Pregnancy care