Studies have shown that women with high progesterone levels at the time of egg cell retrieval have a higher rate of success for pregnancy if the embryos resulting from fertilization are frozen and implanted during a later cycle.
The study results
A study of nearly 3,000 IVF procedures (the largest of its kind), compared fresh embryo transfer to frozen embryo transfer. The results showed that women aged 35 or older who had high progesterone levels at the time of transfer, experienced a 73% higher success rate of pregnancy using frozen embryos and IVF meds over those that received a fresh transfer.
What it means
This study is beneficial as it shows that women with high progesterone levels can benefit from freezing all of the retrieved cells for later implantation rather than performing a fresh transfer and then freezing the remaining cells, as is typical.
In other words, generally when egg cells are retrieved the best are selected for immediate fertilization and implantation and the remaining egg cells are frozen for later use. With this new fertility process all egg cells are frozen and so the highest quality egg cells can be used with higher pregnancy success rates.
Why freezing works
It is believed by researchers that by freezing the egg cells for later IVF transfer the prospective mother has time for her hormone levels to lower from the elevated levels used for egg retrieval.
When hormones are given to stimulate egg production for retrieval they also cause the uterine wall to mature. This makes it more difficult for the egg cells to attach to the wall. By waiting until the next IVF cycle the uterine walls are better suited for egg attachment and so the IVF success rate is higher.
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