Vitrification- Oocyte cryopreservation
Until recently, oocyte cryopreservation remained a challenge in human IVF, because the low survival rates of oocytes lead to low pregnancy rates. Recently however, the method of vitrification has revolutionized oocyte freezing and it is associated with high rates of oocyte survival, fertilization, embryo quality and pregnancy rates. The method can be also applied on cleavage stage embryos and blastocysts.
Vitrification is a method of ultra-rapid freezing. The oocytes are placed in special cryoprotectant solutions and then are plunger directly in liquid nitrogen, where they will be stored until later use. In this way, the interior of the oocytes reverts to a form of glass, avoiding the formation of ice crystals that are detrimental to oocyte viability.
Since vitrification was introduced to IVF relatively recently, statistical data regarding the success and safety of the method do not allow solid conclusions. However, all available studies in the literature report encouraging results regarding the health of children born following the method.
Vitrification can be successfully applied in the cryopreservation of fertilized oocytes, cleavage-stage embryos and blastocysts.
Applications of vitrification
Oocyte cryopreservation is performed during an IVF cycle following ovarian stimulation. It is a method of storage of genetic material for women who wish to postpone having a child until later in life, as well as in cases of premature ovarian failure or lack of spermatozoa in the male partner’s semen sample (azoospermia) or following testicular biopsy on the day of oocyte retrieval.
The experience of Eugonia
In Eugonia, we use vitrification for oocyte cryopreservation, following the international scientific developments, informing the patients about the method's advantages and disadvantages.
In Eugonia we already have several successful pregnancies and live births following oocyte vitrification.