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On the 6th of August, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published the article “Freeze-all versus fresh blastocyst transfer strategy during IVF”, which is based on the ReproUnion supported PhD project, which Sacha Stormlund successfully defended in June.

A key objective was to compare “freeze-all embryos” with conventional fresh embryo transfer and 460 women from Denmark, Sweden and Spain participated in the multicentre, randomised controlled trial.

“The ambition of the study was to increase pregnancy rates and decrease the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is the main side-effect associated with IVF treatment,” says Professor Anja Pinborg, Rigshospitalet, who was the principal supervisor on the PhD project.

The findings in the PhD project indicated similar ongoing pregnancy rates after frozen compared to fresh embryo transfer. Sacha Stormlund concluded that fresh embryo transfer is safe and efficient, if there is no risk of OHSS.

“Thanks to the study we can now with peace of mind put the fresh egg back during the stimulated cycle. But when it comes to woman who are at risk of OHSS, we also know that freezing of all the embryos is the right strategy – with no impact on their chance to become pregnant,” explains Anja Pinborg.

Sacha Stormlund also assessed the women’s attitudes towards a ‘freeze-all’ strategy through a questionnaire, which found that they were overall positive towards freeze-all if the chance of pregnancy was the same.

“I am very pleased that I had the opportunity to complement my clinical study with a patient questionnaire to understand how patients perceive the choice between freeze-all and fresh embryo transfer. Overall, we can say that that the health of the mother and their baby remains of highest importance both from a clinical and the patients’ perspective and most importantly most couples can avoid the extra waiting time to pregnancy related to the freeze-all strategy,” reflects Sacha about her PhD studies.

Find out more about the ReproUnion funded PhD here and its conclusion, published in the BMJ article.

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