Oocyte Vitrification: The revolutionary technique that made possible the "freezing of time" for women


During the last decade, the implementation of the vitrification technique in the embryology laboratory routine has permitted the efficient application of fertility preservation programs, both for cancer patients and for social reasons.

Why must I preserve my fertility?

The first reason that makes the preservation of fertility a necessary process is due to cancer therapy programs (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy) being able to reverse woman’s fertility.

More than 10% of women that are diagnosed with cancer are at reproductive age or even earlier and hence have probably not yet created their own family. The fact that, in our days, cancer is cured better than in the past, makes fertility preservation a priority, in order to keep the chances of creating a family alive and to ensure quality of life.

Additionally, the postponing of parenthood due to personal and/or professional reasons is a social reality.

Which method should I choose for fertility preservation?

The available approaches for fertility preservation and postponing of motherhood are embryo, oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation or even a combination.

When a male partner is not available, oocyte cryopreservation is the most appropriate method for fertility preservation. Following a therapeutic protocol of 10-12 days, oocyte retrieval and cryopreservation are performed. Since 2013, oocyte vitrification is no longer considered an experimental technique. High survival rates can be guaranteed making "freezing of time" possible for women and "restart of time" when the conditions are more favorable.

Results and success rates

When oocyte vitrification is applied by experienced embryologists in IVF units that perform with continuous quality control and high standards, more than 95% survival rate can be guaranteed, and fertilization and implantation rates are similar to non-vitrified oocytes.

What is the cost?

With respect to the necessity of the procedure as soon as possible, the cost is minimal.

About the author

EmbryoClinic is a state-of-the-art fertility clinic located in Thessaloniki, Greece. The IVF unit boasts highly experienced staff who use the latest technology in a purpose-built assisted reproduction clinic. The staff at EmbryoClinic aim to provide a comfortable environment whilst guaranteeing patients that they will recieve the best treatment.

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