Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Freeze or Not to Freeze??

That is the question of the day. For those who don't know, during IVF you have the option to freeze embryos for future attempts at babies. Insurance doesn't cover the freezing, storing, or thawing so it's about $600 a year (or so - I don't have the exact figure). But, this is something that has to be decided before the consent forms get signed and turned in to our RE's office next week.

In the beginning I wasn't too sure how I felt about it, but now I think it's a good idea for a couple reasons. First, insurance will cover an unlimited number of FET's (Frozen Embryo Transfers). Second, this means that they will attempt to fertilize all of the retrieved eggs (part with ICSI, part on their own). Our doctor has strongly recommended that we consider freezing.

I also assume that just because we decide not to freeze this time (if that's what we decide), we could freeze in the future. The only thing is that insurance will not cover the transfer of embryos frozen from your last covered fresh cycle - does that make sense? For example, we get pregnant and have a baby with our final fresh cycle, they wouldn't cover any frozen embryo transfers that came from that retrieval.

The big concern about freezing is that we would have frozen embryos left over and not know what to do with them. You are given options to donate them to another couple or for research, but I'm not sure we agree on that. If we don't agree to freeze this cycle, that means the doctor will only fertilize the three eggs which makes the chances go down.

So, what I am wondering is....what do you all think??

Also wanted to say THANKS for all the comments lately!! It's been great seeing who is watching the blog. I know there are a lot more of you out there, so don't be shy and leave us a comment! :-)



Alex and Jill said...

We chose to freeze and will continue to do so. If we end up having some left over, we have decided to donate to other couples. I'm hoping we can use all of them though! :)

We don't have the insurance issues you are looking at, but I would think that the out of pocket expense in using those frozen embryos would be less than a fresh cycle. Our frozen cycle was a breeze and a lot less expensive.

I am praying for you guys...I really want this to work for you!


Jamie said...

I would definitely suggest that you freeze. If they only fertilize three eggs, your chances go down considerably. In my first cycle I ended up with 22 eggs (Dr. J won't let you grow that many, don't worry) they fertilized them all and I only ended up with 7 that were good enough to eventually transfer. It's a risky business.

Do you want to have more than one child? If so, you can rethink freezing when you start trying for another child, but this time I would DEFINITELY recommend freezing.

Joannah said...

I'm a new reader - enjoying your blog.

We're coming up on our first IVF. Should we be blessed to have leftover embryos, we would most definitely freeze them. If we wanted to or needed to use them in the future we would. But if not, we'd donate them to another infertile couple. Donating them to science would not be a choice we'd make. I want to make choices during IVF that are as life affirming and honoring as possible.

Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

FREEZE, FREEZE, FREEZE! I have had two failed fresh IVF cycles (with ICSI) and finally am pregnant after a frozen cycle. I truly believe my body was under less stress during the frozen cycle and that is why we finally had success. My doctor said he see many women that only get pregnant on frozen cycles. Remember that sometimes not all of the embies that you freeze survive the thaw, so sometimes what to do with them is a decision that you do not have to make. Good luck!

Tonya said...

Amber I really don't know what to tell you. All I can say is I will pray that you make the right decision for you, Jason and your family. I totally get what you mean about the leftovers. Praying for you.

cady said...

we're freezing ours. at our clinic, there's a 50 percent chance of success PLUS the frozen embryos won't age with you, which is great.