Frozen technologies are improving pregnancy rates for patients struggling with infertility

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Jessica Laird and her husband got married in their late 20s.

A year later they we're ready to start a family, however after several months of trying they weren’t able to conceive.

A reproductive specialist with the URMC Fertility Center says Laird suffers from diminished ovarian reserve, where the ovary ages at accelerated rates.

“It was devastating it was really hard to kind of wrap your head around the idea that you may not have a family and that just might be your life,” said Laird.

She began in vitro fertilization. 

“The goal of IVF treatment is to create a good number of embryos so that we could select the best ones among them, when we select an embryo for transfer if there are surplus embryos we would be able to freeze them and come back and use them later,” said Dr. John Queenen.

They retrieved three successful embryos one was frozen in case a second attempt was needed.

“We we're pregnant with the two embryos that we're put in and then on New Year’s I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy that wasn't going to continue,” said Laird.

Using the remaining frozen embryo a year after IFV started, their six pound two ounce baby Calum was born.

This is all possible using advanced frozen technologies.

Emybros are taking out and then placed in liquid nitrogen to be stored away until they are needed.

“Really probably their survival in the freeze is potentially indefinite, they may survive not just years they may survive decades,” Dr. Queenan.

He says in the past frozen embryos had a good survival rate but the eggs survival was poor.

Now with IVF, the survival rate is near 95 percent.

"If we can test the embryos we can put back one and get a better pregnancy rate than we used to putting back two, higher pregnancy rates, less risk and lower multiple gestations really is changing the environment for all IVF patients,” said Dr. Queenan.

Though IVF success rates have gone up, the pregnancy success rates are still less than 50 percent.

Also IVF treatment is not cheap, on average it costs 12,000 dollars per cycle.

It is not covered by insurance in New York.


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