The study by scientists from New York's Center for Human Reproduction reveals that there is only a 47 percent chance for aspiring mothers to have successful live births using frozen eggs compared to the 56 percent chance of using fresh ones for embryo transfers. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
For the study, scientists analyzed more than 11,000 oocyte donation cycles. Oocytes are premature egg cells that are involved in reproduction. In that number, around 20 percent of the donation cycles are frozen donor oocytes.
"We were not surprised by the observed lower pregnancy rates with frozen eggs compared to fresh," said Dr. Vitaly A. Kushnir, lead author of the study from NY's Center for Human Reproduction, via Healthline. "However, we were pleasantly surprised that the pregnancy rates were still quite high for both frozen and fresh eggs."
Kushnir warned that women who are planning to delay motherhood should be made aware by their health counselors that there are lesser chances of getting pregnant with cryopreserved eggs than using fresh ones.
"Use of fresh eggs remains the gold standard since the pregnancy rates are superior and we have many years of experience and know much more about the safety of IVF with fresh eggs," Kushnir explained to the outlet.
However, researchers also said that the results of the research should be taken with a grain of salt because of its study limitations. According to the report by Telegraph, the scientists did not account for the mother's age or infertility issues since data gathered from participating clinics were kept confidential.
According to Professor Charles Kingsland from Liverpool Women's Hospital, freezing eggs for later use is seen as a suitable alternative for many women even though the process still had issues. One of the many advantages of freezing eggs is anchored on the convenience of women.
"Although not randomized or controlled, this study from America shows that although success rates using frozen eggs are still not as good as fresh eggs when used in IVF, they are rapidly improving," he told Telegraph.
According to MedPage Today, the first pregnancy through IVF using frozen eggs was in 1986. During that time, the procedure was considered experimental and was an option given for women who had fertility issues or had illnesses that interfered with their ability to procreate. In addition, for pregnancies to be successful, the process needed around 100 eggs.
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