Cryopreservation is a process that cools an embryo to -40 C. The purpose of embryo freezing is to save embryos that are the product of an IVF/ART cycle. This allows the couple to use the embryos obtained from one fresh IVF/ART cycle for future transfer to the uterus without the need to repeat another ovarian superovulation cycle. Once frozen, the embryos remain stored in liquid nitrogen until the couple requests a transfer of the embryos into the uterus or advises IVF Phoenix™ to destroy them. Not all of the embryos will survive the freeze-thaw process: approximately 50% are expected to survive.
Worldwide experience has resulted in several clinical pregnancies and normal live births. Embryo freezing has been used in cattle and laboratory animals with no known adverse results in the offspring and, while the long-term effects with human embryo freezing are unknown at the present time, the rate of congenital anomalies or malformations in the offspring of fresh assisted reproduction pregnancies is the same as that of the general population.
Legal principles and requirements regarding IVF and embryo freezing have not been firmly established. Currently, there are no Arizona State Laws dealing specifically with these issues. It is generally accepted that each embryo resulting from the fertilization of woman’s egg by a man’s sperm shall remain the joint legal property of both. If anonymous donor sperm is used, ownership of the embryo(s) will remain with the couple, unless there is no legal marriage or husband, then ownership of the embryo will reside solely with the woman signing the consent form. Disposition of the frozen embryos are subject to legal requirements that have been established by the state and those guidelines can change at any time.