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In IVF, Frozen Embryos May Fare Better than Fresh

by Lynne Peeples,  REUTERS,  Feb 17, 2010
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For women seeking help from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become moms, frozen embryos might be an even better choice than fresh, according to a new study.

The Finnish study suggests that women who use frozen embryos are somewhat less likely to give birth prematurely, compared to children conceived from an egg that is removed, fertilized and implanted "fresh" within the same cycle.

The role of frozen embryos has grown over the last few years, especially in Europe where policies now favor implanting only one embryo at a time to prevent dangerous multiple pregnancies, Dr. Sari Pelkonen, of Oulu University Hospital in Finland and lead author of the study, told Reuters Health by email.

This limit leaves extra embryos available for freezing, but few studies have looked carefully at whether frozen embryos are linked to higher rates of premature babies and other complications.

For their study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, Pelkonen and her colleagues studied data from nearly 2,300 children conceived with frozen embryos, more than 4,100 born after fresh embryos were used, and 32,000 pregnancies that did not require IVF or other fertility treatments.

Overall, 258, or about one in 11, of the babies from the fresh embryo transfer group were born prematurely, compared to 120, or about one in 16, in the frozen embryo transfer group. Read more.


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