BookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxFilledCheckBoxCircleBumpCheckedFilledMedical

Frozen Embryos Linked to Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure

A new study by the American Heart Association points to a connection between using frozen embryos during IVF and an increased risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
save article
profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published October 4, 2022
liquid nitrogen straws with frozen embryos and egg cells
Image: Ekaterina Georgievskaia | Shutterstock

A new study in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Hypertension has found fertilization with frozen embryos to be associated with a considerably higher risk of high blood pressure-related pregnancy complications.

Compared to women who conceived naturally, those who used frozen embryos during IVF were 74 percent more likely to develop hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. In contrast, those who used fresh embryos did not see an increased risk.

The findings come as a shock to many who previously believed frozen and fresh embryo transfers to have equal risks. “Frozen embryo transfers are now increasingly common all over the world, and in the last few years, some doctors have begun skipping fresh embryo transfer to routinely freeze all embryos in their clinical practice, the so-called ‘freeze-all’ approach,” lead study author Sindre H. Petersen, MD, said in a news release. "Our results highlight that careful consideration of all benefits and harms is needed before freezing all embryos as a routine in clinical practice.”

While no change in the birth rates when using frozen versus fresh embryos has been observed, the increased risk of high blood pressure complications still warrants an extensive conversation around fresh or frozen. High blood pressure, or hypertension, disorders during pregnancy, including preeclampsia, can endanger the health and life of the mother and fetus. In the US, roughly 1 in 25 pregnancies results in preeclampsia.

Not all scientists are convinced that the spike in high blood pressure is due to the frozen embryo itself as much as the process in which it is transferred. The different ways the uterus is prepared for transfer has been pointed to as a possible risk factor, with even the study’s authors agreeing that additional research is needed to investigate what part of the process might be increasing hypertension risk.

So what are parents to do with all this information? The AHA suggests that parents-to-be talk with their doctor about what method, fresh or frozen, may be best for them. The idea isn’t to scare parents that their frozen embryos will cause problems but to open up a dialogue about how to minimize potential issues.

“Our results highlight that careful consideration of all benefits and potential risks is needed before freezing all embryos as a routine in clinical practice,” Petersen said. “A comprehensive, individualized conversation between physicians and patients about the benefits and risks of a fresh versus frozen embryo transfer is key.”

Learn more about IVF and how to boost your odds of getting pregnant here.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

Lala Kent at the "Vanderpump Rules" Season 11 Premiere held at the Hollywood Palladium on January 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Vanderpump Rules’ Lala Kent Shares She's Conceiving Baby No. 2 via IUI
By Wyndi Kappes
dads denied ivf by insurance write children's book "you come from love"
Dad Initially Denied IVF by Insurance Pens Children’s Book
By Wyndi Kappes
twin baby feet in black and white
Record-Breaking Twins Are Born From Embryos Frozen 30 Years Ago
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
kourtney kardashian and travis barker at the oscars
Kourtney Kardashian Opens About Her IVF Journey With Travis Barker
By Nehal Aggarwal
parent holds newborn in hospital after birth
California Couple Sues Fertility Clinic Over Devastating IVF Mix-Up
By Nehal Aggarwal
IVF: What to Know About in Vitro Fertilization
IVF: What to Know About in Vitro Fertilization
By Maggie Overfelt
bravo tv star writes book for children explaining infertility
Bravo TV Star’s New Book Wants to Teach Kids IVF Is Totally Normal
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
actress amy schumer posts about her egg retrieval procedure
Amy Schumer Is Staying Positive Through Egg Retrieval Procedure
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer with chris fischer
Amy Schumer Reveals IVF Struggle and Reaches Out to Fans for Support
By Nehal Aggarwal
mina starsiak hawk opens up about her infertility struggles on instagram
HGTV Star Mina Starsiak Reveals Infertility Struggle and IVF Journey
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
new parents happily holding their newborn baby
This Picture Book Wants to Teach Kids That IVF Is Completely Normal
By Nehal Aggarwal
chrissy teigen and john legend sitting together at en event
John Legend Gets Real on How IVF Changed His Relationship With Teigen
By Nehal Aggarwal
mom opens up about her decision to have her children via reciprocal ivf
How Reciprocal IVF Let Two Moms Both Be a Part of Creating Their Baby
By Christina Bailey
ADVERTISEMENT
birthday cake with confetti sprinkles
World’s First IVF Baby Celebrates 41st Birthday
By Stephanie Grassullo
doctor folding his arms in medical environment
Mom Claps Back at Doctor Who Said IVF Allows ‘Disease-Prone’ People to Have Babies
By Stephanie Grassullo
Baby born with genes from three different people.
How a Baby in Greece Was Born With Genes From Three People
By Stephanie Grassullo
woman reflects on her emotional ivf journey
New Mom Reflects on the Emotional Roller Coaster That Is IVF
By Stephanie Grassullo
ADVERTISEMENT
woman at work looking at her phone
Women Want Fertility Benefits So Badly They're Willing to Switch Jobs, Survey Reveals
By Stephanie Grassullo
image of one couple's rainbow baby and the process of ivf represented in the fertility treatment shots.
Powerful IVF Newborn Photo Celebrates Parents' Rainbow Baby
By Stephanie Grassullo
john legend with pregnant wife, chrissy teigen
Chrissy Teigen, Honest as Ever, Defends Fan Who Asks About IVF
By Laurie Ulster
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.