How Are Frozen Embryos Stored?

Embryo freezing contributes to a couple finally being able to realize their dreams of parenthood. Knowing how to store embryos can help you plan for future family building.

Embryo cryopreservation, commonly known as embryo freezing, can help you plan for future family-building letting you decide when you’re ready for the journey to parenthood. This process allows embryos to be preserved for future use, letting you have more flexibility in family planning.

Whether you’re thinking about freezing your embryos or are currently going through the process, we’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about frozen embryos.

Have embryos created or need help connecting with a fertility clinic? Contact us online now to speak with a specialist.

How Are Frozen Embryos Stored?

Embryo freezing involves cryopreservation to ensure the embryos can be stored for future use. Here’s how:

Vitrification

Embryos can be quickly frozen through a cryopreservation method called vitriciation.

A special solution known as a cryoprotective agenct (CPA) is added to the embryos.  The CPA replaces the water in the embryo cells and protects them from ice crystal formation during the freezing process. The embryos are then immersed in tanks of liquid nitrogen at -321 Fahrenheit or -196.1 Celsius. Vitrification has a high survival rate and is often preferred over the slower, traditional freezing methods.

This state of cryopreservation ensures that metabolic processes are halted, preserving the embryos.

Where Are Frozen Embryos Stored?

After freezing, embryos are carefully stored in specialized storage facilities, often referred to as cryobanks. These facilities are equipped with advanced technology to maintain the optimal storage conditions. These tanks are equipped with sophisticated monitoring systems to ensure the temperature remains constant.

Any deviations can trigger alarms, allowing for immediate corrective actions. Cryobanks are secure, with restricted access to ensure the safety and preservation of your stored embryos.

What is the Cost to Store Frozen Embryos?

The cost to store frozen embryos can vary depending on the clinic and state you live in. Generally, storage fees are charged on an annual basis. Here are some typical costs:

  • Annual Fees: Most clinics charge an annual fee for embryo storage. This fee typically ranges from $350 to $1,000 per year.

  • Initial Freezing Costs: In addition to annual storage fees, there is an initial cost associated with the freezing process, which can range from $11,000 to $15,000.

How Long Can a Frozen Embryo Be Stored?

The amount of time embryos can be stored varies depending on the clinic you work with, but they can be preserved for many years without losing viability. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Many clinics have standard storage duration of up to 10 years. This timeframe is commonly used as a guideline for long-term storage.

  • Some clinics offer extended storage options beyond the initial 10-year period. It's essential to discuss long-term storage plans with your clinic to understand your options and any additional costs.

Next Steps

We know that you want nothing more than to have the family of your dreams. By partnering with a reputable clinic, you can ensure that your embryos are safely and effectively preserved for when you're ready to grow your family.

If you have embryos created and want to pursue surrogacy as a path to parenthood, contact us online now to connect with a specialist.