Embryo freezing is the preserves eggs that were fertilized through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at a very low temperature, for use in a future pregnancy
The Ministry of Health guidelines state that embryos can been frozen for 5 years, free of charge
The embryos can be frozen for an additional 5 years at a cost

  • The process of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) often yields a large number of fertilized eggs (embryos).
  • Because a pregnancy with multiple embryos can have complications, after the IVF cycle, generally 2 embryos are returned to the womb and the remaining ones are frozen.
  • Embryo freezing is done only when the embryos remaining after ones where returned to the women, are good quality.
  • Frozen embryos are preserved at a temperature of -196 degrees Celsius in test tubes or straws.

Who is Eligible?

How to Claim It?

  • Patients (both men and women who are partners, and acquaintances who want to have a child) at the IVF clinic should sign a form stating what happens with fertilized eggs that remain at the end of the treatment.
  • The couple must decide what to do with these fertilized eggs,either when they sign the form or after the completion of treatment.
  • There are 3 options for storing remaining embryos:
    1. Freezing for the first 5 years without payment;
    2. Thawing the embryos, ie destroying them;
    3. Donating them to science.
  • If the couple chooses to freeze the embryos then at the end of the 5 year period the couple has to decide again from the following options:
    1. Freezing for an additional 5 years - with payment;
    2. Thawing the embryos, ie destroying them;
    3. Donating them to science.
  • If after 5 years the couple is contacted and does not give a response the embryos will be thawed and destroyed.
  • For a list of IVF clinics and their telephone numbers to give instructions see here.

Use for Frozen Embryos

  • The frozen embryos will be used in the circumstances and purposes details below:
    1. For additional treatments, if there are;
    2. For the purpose of surrogacy;
    3. When it is necessary to preserve embryos to be able to return them at a later date because of the medical situation of the woman that prevents the fresh embryos from being transferred.
  • The Ministry of Health uses the following guidelines to recommend the number of embryos that should be returned during an IVF treatment:
  • In the first 3 treatment cycles - up to 2 embryos in each treatment.
  • In the following circumstances returning more than 2 embryos may be considered:
    1. After 3 failed IVF cycles where 2 embryos were implanted
    2. When the woman is above age 35 after 2 failed IVF cycles;
    3. In the first IVF attempt when the woman is above age 41
  • In any case the maximum number of embryos that can be implanted is 4.

Please Note

  • The couple must provide a detailed address and additional contact details. They are obligated to update their contact details.
  • If the patients didnt give instructions regarding the embryos, the IVF unit will publicize a contact notice and send a letter to the patients.
  • The IVF clinic is authorized to thaw embryos only after receiving approval from the Ministry of Health.

Court Rulings

Aid Organizations

Government Agencies

Laws and Regulations

Additional Publications


English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.