Vitrification improves cryopreservation techniques

Cryopreservation (freezing) of eggs and embryos is a common technique used to preserve fertility for many women.

Though it’s been performed for 40 years, its ability to produce high live birth rates was impeded by an ineffective freeze-thaw method.

It’s not unusual for water crystals to form in the slow freeze process of cryopreservation, which can decrease egg and embryo viability.

However, a relatively new process, called vitrification, has produced live birth rates that are similar to those observed with fresh eggs or embryos.

Vitrification utilizes a quick-freeze technique that prevents the formation of ice crystals.  Additionally, a technique called “artificial collapsing” can be performed prior to vitrification to remove traces of water using a laser.

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