Study Suggests Frozen Embryos Better in Pregnancies Than Newer Ones

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Study Suggests Frozen Embryos Better in Pregnancies Than Newer Ones

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 8
, 2008

Barcelona, Spain ( — New research appears to show that frozen embryos do better in pregnancies when implanted compared with newly-created ones. The results give more reasons for opposing the destruction of human embryos in scientific research or discarding them entirely.

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conducted the study and found that infants who were born after being frozen for longer periods of time as embryos had higher birth weights than their counterparts.

They were also less likely to suffer from chromosomal abnormalities than babies who were implanted after a more recent creation through in-vitro fertilization.

The study also found that fewer babies were involved in multiple pregnancies when frozen longer — likely leading to fewer abortions (euphemistically known as selective reductions) and fewer complications during pregnancy for mother and children.

According to a London Telegraph report, the society studied more than 1,200 children born between 1995 and 2006 after frozen embryo replacement and compared them to 17,857 children born who were newly-created embryos.

Multiple births were reduced among frozen embryos from 27.3 percent of children born to 14.2 percent.

Furthermore, the newspaper indicated the babies born after being frozen as an embryo weighed, on average, 200 grams heavier and fewer of the infants had low-birth weight issues and fewer were born prematurely.

Dr Anja Pinborg, from the Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, who led the study, talked with the Telegraph about the results.

"Most encouragingly, we found no increased risk of congenital malformations in the FER group; the rate in this group was 7.1 percent compared to 8.8 percent where fresh embryos had been used," she said.

However, the study has some concerns for pro-life advocates — because not all of the human embryos survive the freezing process. That’s one of the many objections pro-life groups have with in-vitro fertilizations.

"We think the reason for the differences is probably positive selection of the embryos for frozen embryo replacement," Pinborg said. "Only the very top quality embryos survive the freezing and thawing process. And you only get pregnancies in patients with lots of good embryos to freeze."

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