Cryopreservation is the freezing tissue or cells in order to preserve them for their future use. Current technology enables A.R.T. centers to freeze sperm, eggs and embryos. Many A.R.T. cycles result with more high quality embryos available then is safe to transfer back to a women’s uterus for an attempt at a pregnancy. Two main methods of cryopreservation are utilized by most A.R.T. centers are commonly known as slow-cool freezing and vitrification. The A.R.T laboratory at CACRM utilizes the vitrification method of freezing for eggs and embryos.
Vitrification is the ultra-rapid freezing of eggs or embryos in conjunction with higher levels of cryoprotectants than is traditionally used in the slow-cooling process. Cryoprotectants are special solutions that the eggs or embryos are first exposed to before the rapid freezing takes place. Cryoprotectants are used in the solution that the embryos are frozen in. There are 2 basic types of cryoprotectants those that are called permeating (e.g. propanediol) and those called non-permeating (sucrose) which do not enter the cell. These solutions help protect the cells of the embryo from any damage that might be caused by the freezing process. By adding a cryoprotectant, the water inside of an egg or embryo can be cooled until it hardens to a glass-like state without any ice crystals forming inside of the cells. The formation of ice crystals during the freezing process is highly deleterious to the egg or embryos upon thawing. So it is very important to avoid the formation of these ice crystals. Properly performed vitrification greatly reduces the chances of ice formation compared to slow-cooling. Thus with vitrification freezing of spare embryos results in much improved post-thaw survival rates and higher pregnancy and live birth rates from frozen embryo transfer cycles.
Call our San Diego Fertility Clinic for a consultation at (760) 633-2231
California Center for Reproductive Medicine
477 N. El Camino Real,
Building C Suite 208
Encinitas, CA 92024
Office: (760) 633-2231
IVF Fertility Clinic San Diego
The California Center for Reproductive Medicine San Diego.
CACRM San Diego fertility clinic provides treatments, therapy and
services relating to fertility and infertility.
Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lori Arnold at
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