Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 1363–1368

Vitrification can modify embryo cleavage stage after warming. Should we change endometrial preparation?


    • URH García del Real
  • C. Villas
    • URH García del Real
  • I. Pons
    • URH García del Real
  • C. Braña
    • URH García del Real
  • S. Fernandez-Shaw
    • URH García del Real

DOI: 10.1007/s10815-012-9881-0

Cite this article as:
Cercas, R., Villas, C., Pons, I. et al. J Assist Reprod Genet (2012) 29: 1363. doi:10.1007/s10815-012-9881-0



Studies have shown that embryo metabolism and cell cleavage after warming vitrified embryos is faster than after thawing frozen embryos. We study vitrified embryo transfer (VET) results depending on the developmental stage of warmed embryos and the duration of progesterone treatment before embryo transfer.


We designed a prospective study, patients were randomized in two groups, starting progesterone three (D + 3) or four days (D + 4) before embryo transfer. We recruited 88 patients with embryos vitrified on day 3.


We didn’t find statitistical differences in pregnancy rate when we transferred embryos in D + 3 vs D + 4 (38.2 % vs 40.5 % p ≥ 0.05). The day after warming, 54.6 % of embryos had developed to morula or early blastocyst, 32.4 % to cleavage stage and 13 % didn’t cleave. Transfers were with morula/blastocysts stage embryos (52.1 %; n:37), cleavage stage embryos (18.3 %; n:13) or mixed (29.6 %; n:21). Implantation rate was significantly higher in morula/blastocyst stage than in cleavage stage or mixed transfers (44 %, 22 % and 16.3 %; p = 0.011). Pregnancy and implantation rates were significantly higher in morula/blastocyst transfers on D + 4 than on D + 3 (68.7 % and 64.7 % vs 33.3 %, and 33.3 %, p = 0.033 and p = 0.034).


Our findings suggest that a majority of embryos will develop to morula/blastocyst stage after warming. VET results with morula/blastocysts, and after four days of progesterone supplementation, are better than with cleavage stage embryos.


VitrificationProgesteroneEndometriumBlastocystEmbryo cleavageImplantation window

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012