An exciting part of being an embryologist at CARE is the chance to carry out research and having the opportunity to present the findings at National and International conferences. I was lucky enough to have my research selected for presentation at a recent conference. My research set out to examine success rates for patients who shipped their frozen embryos to CARE, from other clinics.
Many patients ask if it is possible to transport their frozen embryos for use at another clinic. Reasons are varied and include moving house to a new area, clinic preference or to have an additional procedure carried out at a more specialist clinic. At CARE we are very happy to receive embryos from licenced centres all over the UK and Europe and from further afield providing the exporting centre can meet regulated criteria.
It is a practice we have carried out for many years successfully. However, in more recent years we have started to receive embryos that have been frozen using a newer method of freezing called vitrification. This super-cools the embryos in a tiny drop of solution on a fragile straw device, which requires very tightly controlled shipment and specialist handling as temperature fluctuations could affect embryo survival.
My research looked at all the embryos that have been transported from other clinics to CARE and then thawed for treatment during a two-year period. I specifically looked at those that used the newer vitrification technique of freezing.
I was able to show that the survival rate and pregnancy rate of these shipped and thawed embryos was not any different to embryos frozen in the same way which had not travelled between IVF clinics. So, the embryos travelled well and thawed well too.
Our findings backed up other studies and allows us to reassure patients that they are not compromising their treatments by moving their embryos from other clinics to CARE Fertility.