Freeze-all, for whom, when, and how

Celada, P, Bosch, E,
Ups J Med Sci. May. 2020 doi: 10.1080/03009734.2020.1746870


Background: The 'freeze-all' practice refers to the cryopreservation of all mature oocytes or viable embryos after ovarian stimulation. The development of the vitrification technique has been crucial to make this approach a reality, since it increases the post-thaw survival rates and permits comparable implantation rates with fresh embryos. Nonetheless, as implantation probabilities are comparable to fresh embryo transfer in normo-responder patients, the freeze- all strategy has demonstrated no benefits overall.Method: Narrative review in which we give an overview of this approach, discuss recent advances in the field, as well as for whom, when and how it is recommended to emply the freeze-all technique.Results: However, there is some clinical evidence that shows its feasibility. Thus, it has been demonstrated that elevation of progesterone at the end of ovarian stimulation decreases the implantation rates after the transfer of day 6 blastocysts in fresh and some uterine pathologies; freeze-all is also the preferred option for patients undergoing pre-implantation genetic testing, since there is an improvement of the results and it allows for inclusion of all blastocysts of the cohort. In high responders, the freeze-all strategy optimizes the response whilst also minimizing the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.Conclusion: Due to the different cases that a reproductive expert might encounter, it is essential to highlight benefits and drawbacks of this practice.