Vitrification is a safe, effective way to flash freeze eggs for fertility preservation
Our Tennessee fertility clinic uses vitrification to freeze eggs. This is a revolutionary technology that dehydrates then cools eggs to a sub-zero temperature of -196 Celsius. This process transforms the liquid inside of these reproductive materials into a glasslike state. Vitrification helps prevent ice crystals from forming during the freezing process and suspends the biological processes of the cells.
Freezing eggs is much more effective because of flash freezing
Because of vitrification, IVF success rates have risen. Before labs began using this technology, they slowly froze reproductive materials. This slow freezing could result in the formation of ice crystals that could harm eggs. As the freezing now occurs so rapidly, the ice crystals don’t have time to form.
When comparing the use of eggs that go through flash freezing to fresh eggs, the success rates are very similar. In some cases, an IVF cycle with frozen eggs is more successful than a fresh cycle. Fertility specialists believe this might be because a woman’s hormones have time to return to normal levels between the egg retrieval and the embryo transfer during a frozen cycle.
The doctors at our Tennessee fertility clinic work with patients to determine whether a frozen or fresh cycle is best for their needs.
What happens during the vitrification process?
The first step of flash freezing involves the embryologist placing the eggs in a low concentration of an anti-freeze substance. This solution pulls water out of the reproductive materials.
Next, the embryologist places the reproductive material in a high concentration of an anti-freeze substance for less than a minute. This flash freezes the eggs and prevents ice crystals from forming.
Finally, a lab specialist transfers the frozen reproductive material to a cryopreservation storage tank. These tanks maintain the appropriate temperature, ensuring the biological processes of the cells pause. The materials can remain in storage indefinitely.
When the patient is ready to use their eggs, the embryologist warms and removes them from the solution. After thawing, the embryologist fertilizes the eggs with sperm. The doctor then transfers a resulting embryo into the patient’s uterus or the uterus of a gestational surrogate.
Our Tennessee fertility clinic is by the patient’s side for each step of this exciting process, from collecting the eggs to using them to start a family. Contact us for more information about flash freezing
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