A new study published in JAMA suggests that the use of frozen eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) can lead to lower live birth rates than the use of fresh eggs.
Researchers set out to assess the outcomes of IVF using oocyte cryopreservation—where a woman’s eggs are extracted and frozen. The team looked at data from 380 fertility centers in the U.S. that performed 92% of all IVF cycles in the U.S. for 2013.
They identified 11,148 oocyte donation cycles; 2,227, approximately 20%, involved the use of cryopreserved oocytes. The live birth rates of the IVF techniques were compared. Researchers discovered that the live birth rates that used oocyte cryopreservation for each IVF cycle were lower at 43%, compared with 50% that used fresh oocytes.
The results also indicated that for each embryo transfer, live birth rates were at 47% when using frozen oocytes and 56% when using fresh oocytes.
Researchers were unable to pinpoint the reason why lower birth rates were associated with the use of oocyte cryopreservation, but they believe it could be due to the reduced amount of eggs used for this IVF procedure.
The team concludes that their research should be viewed with caution as they didn’t take into account other confounding factors, such as the age of egg donors and infertility diagnosis.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Kushnir, V.A., et al., “Outcomes of fresh and cryopreserved oocyte donation,” JAMA, doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7556, published online August 11, 2015.
Whiteman, H., “IVF: Use of frozen eggs linked to poorer live birth rates,” Medical News Today web site, August 12, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298052.php.