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.