Frequently Asked Questions About ‘Embryo Freezing’ In UAE
Your top three questions - answered!
19 July 2017
The discussion on freezing embryos isn't nearly as loud as the discussion on freezing eggs. Here, we answer the top 3 questions about freezing embryos in the UAE.
1. If fertilized eggs are preserved, how will it help women who are trying to get pregnant in the UAE?
Embryo freezing is a rather common part of the IVF procedure. Embryo Freezing by Vitrification today is the only real advance in Assisted Reproductive Techniques after the introduction of ICSI nearly 15 years ago. Today it is scientifically proven that a deferred Embryo Transfer after vitrification & accumulation of embryos increases the take home baby rates significantly. Further, the babies born from vitrified-thawed Embryos have been known to have better body weights at birth. Recent studies have proved that pregnancy rates achieved through preserved embryos were more than pregnancy rates achieved through fresh embryo transfers.
- Many patients undergoing IVF have “leftover” embryos that could be frozen for future use. This means that the woman need not undergo treatment with stimulating drugs every time she has treatment, thus reducing the inconvenience and cost for them.
- Many women in this region, especially of Gulf Arabian nationality, have a condition known as Polycystic Ovaries, which makes them susceptible to over-stimulation of the ovaries. This is potentially dangerous and can even be life-threatening. If embryo freezing were permitted, this would reduce the likelihood of this complication arising and make fertility treatment safer for these women. Because of their condition, many of these women need IVF treatment.
2. How does egg fertilization and preserving work? Or how are embryos frozen and later used?
For fertilized eggs (embryos) to be preserved for later use or for medical research, the eggs are taken from the ovary and frozen through the process of vitrification that freezes the embryo rapidly. The vitrified embryos are then stored until they are to be used.
3. What is currently allowed in the law?
Embryo freezing is currently not permitted by UAE Federal Law. If new regulations are passed to allow freezing of embryos, it will greatly benefit couples for future pregnancy attempts.
It is a globally recognized technique which has benefited childless couples and even the ones who are trying to have more children. It is now possible to carry out a number of genetic tests during the IVF process, especially relevant in this region because of the high rate of consanguineous marriage.
People who can benefit from egg freezing:
- Young women with cancer who are at risk of sterility as a result of their cancer or its treatment.
- Women under 35 years of age who want to preserve the option of having healthy, genetically related children at a later date.
- Women who anticipate becoming pregnant at an advanced age: it provides them with the possibility of becoming a genetic parent using their frozen–thawed eggs.