Vitrification becoming more available


Another clinic is poised to offer vitrification, ultra rapid embryo freezing for IVF, to women interested in preserving their eggs for later implantation. Shady Grove Fertility, the nation’s largest fertility and IVF center, announced the creation of its Center for Fertility Preservation located in Baltimore which uses the new technology that yields higher pregnancy rates than the traditional cryogenics.

The older method of egg cryopreservation was creating unpredictable results and lower successful pregnancy rates. Women would go to cryopreservation as a last shot at preserving fertility either for health reasons, like early menopause caused by various types of cancer treatments, or for those women who simply were not prepared for a baby but knew their eggs were healthiest at their current age.

“A woman’s ability to conceive is largely dependent on the age of her eggs,” said Robert Stillman, MD Medical Director of Shady Grove Fertility Center. “Fertility is naturally declining with age, but he chances of getting pregnant drop off sharply after age 35. By the time she reaches her early 40’s there is only a very small chance of achieving a healthy, natural pregnancy and delivery.”

There are about six million unmarried women in the US between 30 and 39 who will have to make the difficult decision of whether or not to have children and accept the consequences of waiting longer. Do they have children before they are ready? Do they wait and use someone else’s eggs? Or, do they accept their fate that they may never have children at all? Vitrification puts an alternative on the table that gives a greater possibility of getting pregnant when the circumstances are right with her own egg(s).

Vitrification, if you look it up in the dictionary, means to turn something to glass. And that’s what makes this technique so special. Cryopreservation, even with the slow reduction in temperature, could create ice crystals which damage tissue and compromises the success of embryo implantation and development. The flash freeze of vitrification causes the cells to freeze without ice crystals - a glasslike texture.

“While not a guarantee, the ability to proactively freeze eggs at a younger age can greatly increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant with her own biological children well past the age of natural peak fertility,” said Dr. Stillman.

Source: Medical News Today, Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago


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