Artificial Reproductive Technology ( ART ) or specifically In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) , gave the world our first IVF baby in 1978. The birth of Louise Brown gave infertile couples a new hope towards parenthood .
Over the last 3 decades , IVF technology has evolved and advanced.
Ovarian stimulation has become safer and more patient-friendly . Fertility laboratory techniques has improved tremendously.
The most important breakthrough development in the fertility laboratory technique is the ability to freeze and thaw embryos successfully.
The original method of freezing and thawing the embryos is associated with higher embryo loss.
The current technique of embryo freezing known as vitrification has improved the embryo survival rate. In an established IVF laboratory, the survival rate of thawed embryos with vitrification technique is close to one hundred percent .
In 1984, the first baby via frozen embryo transfer (FET) was born. Since then , many fertility clinics has adopted frozen embryo transfer as part of their strategy in their IVF protocol.
Embryo transfer procedure can be divided into fresh and frozen embryo transfer based on the timing of the embryo transfer.
by Dr Agilan Arjunan, Fertility Specialist, KL Fertility Centre (Malaysia)
Just a few days ago an article about frozen embryo transfer was published in The Star .
In summary, the article mentioned about the advantage of deferring embryo transfer to a later date (ie freezing the embryo first and do the embryo transfer later). It says that by doing so, the miscarriage rate was lower and this leads to a higher live birth rate.
I completely agree with the findings and it concur with my own clinical experience.
Currently, IVF / ICSI can be broken into 2 segments :
a) Stage 1: Ovarian stimulation, egg collectian and fertilisation
b) Stage 2: Embryo transfer
Traditionally, Stage 1 & 2 are done in the same period cycle (fresh embryo transfer). We can get reasonably good pregnancy rate with fresh embryo transfer.