Freezing Embryos May Result in Healthier IVF Babies

More evidence that using frozen embryos may result in healthier IVF babies than using fresh embryos comes from a new British study.

The researchers found that babies born following IVF using frozen embryos may be born later and weigh more than babies born from fresh embryos, according to a presentation at the British Fertility Society last week.

They looked at nearly 400 babies born after fresh embryo transfer and just more than 100 born after frozen embryo transfer.

On average, babies born from frozen embryos weighed 253g more and were born 4 to 5 days later than babies born from fresh embryos.

“This is important because prematurity and low birth weight are both risk factors for poorer health later in life and are linked to higher rates of behavioral and learning difficulties,” said Suzanne Cawood, who led the study at the Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health in London.

“This means that resulting babies may potentially be healthier if frozen embryos are transferred rather than fresh embryos.”

She hypothesizes that the difference may be in the uterine environment between fresh cycles when embryos are transferred soon after the eggs have been collected compared to frozen cycles when the uterus has not been stimulated in the days before transfer.

This hypothesis needs to be tested further, she said.

Previously, Danish scientists had found that babies from frozen embryos were heavier and suggested this could be due to only top quality embryos surviving the freezing procedure.

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