Over the past five years, great advances have been made in the area of cryopreservation. Today, vitrification is the method of choice for cryopreservation of oocytes (eggs). There are two significant reasons that a woman may choose to cryopreserve her oocytes:
- The patient is about to undergo cancer treatment, which may harm her ovaries.
- The patient may desire to preserve her future fertility with her own eggs.
The process to obtain the oocytes to cryopreserve is similar to the IVF process, except the collected eggs are not fertilized, but rather cryopreserved. The patient can have the embryology laboratory thaw the eggs in the future and fertilize them with the patient’s sperm choice. Once fertilized, the embryos develop as if they were never frozen. Pregnancy outcome data suggest that success rates are only about 15 percent lower in most categories.