Yes, it is true. It’s not so different f. e. the embryo survival rate in patients who have euploid blastocyst in our clinic is 98%, and the survival rate of vitrified eggs below the age of 35 is between 90- 96%.
Having said that the survival rate of vitrified eggs after the age of 38 f. e. is lower than that, it is around 80-85%. Then also you have to be very conscious because people think that it is better to generate embryos, so my chances of having my fertility preserved is going to be higher, that is not true. If you confirm everything at the beginning of the process, let’s say today before you have started the process, what is going to happen is that when we do the ovarian stimulation, we are going to have much more eggs than embryos. Then when we retrieve the eggs maybe not a 100% of them are going to be mature, but even those that are mature, not 100% of them will fertilize and not all the embryos that are fertilized the first day will reach the blastocyst stage. We only freeze the embryos at the very end of the process which means that f. e. in a patient at the age 40 years old on average we usually vitrify 2 to 3 blastocyst, so yes those blastocysts will survive better than the eggs, but you should compare the chances of having a baby with 10 vitrified eggs as to those having a baby with having 2 or 3 blastocysts because that’s what we usually get. The thing with vitrified embryos is that you will be 3 or 4 steps ahead in the process.
You will probably know how good are your eggs because it can also happen that you vitrify your eggs, they look beautiful, but you have to be aware that 15% of the population have fertility problems. What if you are within these 15%, very likely you will find out about it until the moment comes to using the eggs. This is why when I talk to my patients, I always say, please keep in mind that even if you have a lot of eggs, we cannot guarantee a 100% success rates because that’s almost impossible in biological science.
The problems can happen in between, and obviously, the more you are advanced in your fertility journey, the more information you will have. So vitrifying embryos is more reassuring in a way that you will have more information, but from a practical point of view at the end of the process you will get to the same point, but you will know it before.
There’s also another implication especially if the patient is in a relationship, they usually tend to vitrify the embryos using the sperm of the partner and then there is also very important implication because while the eggs strictly belong to the patient, the embryos belong to the couple so both partners, so for whatever reason the patient’s they Split, it can happen that even though they have embryos, they cannot use them in the future because they need the permission of the partner to do so. Unfortunately, in my experience when couples want to get permission to get the embryo back is quite difficult.