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Frozen embryos 'lead to healthy babies'

Embryos that are frozen prior to conception can produce healthy babies, scientists say.
In some cases, babies conceived from frozen embryos are healthier than children conceived through traditional IVF, research from Copenhagen University Hospital suggests.

A study carried out at the Danish institution found a higher birth weight and a lower risk of hereditary problems among babies born from frozen embryos.

Researchers compared 1,267 children born via frozen embryo replacement (FER) and 17,857 children born from 'fresh' embryos – used in traditional IVF procedures - between 1995 and 2006.

A lower rate of multiple births was also found in FER births, as was a reduce number of premature babies.

Lead researcher Dr Anja Pinborg, who led the research, explained: "We think the reason for the differences is probably positive selection of the embryos for frozen embryo replacement.

"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."

Using frozen embryos means couples can have several cycles of treatment from on egg collection, limiting the number of times women need to take medication to stimulate their ovaries.

Dr Pinborg added that if results remain "positive" FER "can be accepted as a completely safe procedure, which can be used more frequently than it is currently".

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