Embryo Cryopreservation

rmany_155825093Embryo cryopreservation or embryo freezing is a technique used to preserve embryos by cooling them and storing them at extremely low temperatures. Frozen embryos can then be used in a later cycle. Frozen embryos have been successfully used for nearly three decades to create healthy babies. There does not appear to be any increased risk of birth defects from frozen and thawed embryos and there does not appear to be any deterioration that occurs over time.

Recently, there has been a movement towards electively freezing embryos and then transferring them in a subsequent cycle. This technique appears to improve implantation rates in some patients. Additionally, freezing embryos will allow for an embryo to be biopsied and the DNA analyzed so that only the healthiest embryos can be subsequently transferred. Tremendous advances in cryopreservation techniques including vitrification and precise rewarming of embryos has allowed well over 90% of embryos to successfully freeze and thaw, and many of these to implant and result in healthy ongoing pregnancies.

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