Oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, is a relatively new procedure in the field of assisted reproductive technologies. Overall, this technology increases a woman’s potential to have children later in life. Since the first successful pregnancy using egg freezing was reported in 1986, approximately 600 babies have been born. Currently, pregnancy rates are between 30 and 40 percent
Egg freezing allows a woman to preserve her fertility until she is ready to start her family. During an egg-freezing cycle, a patient will go through many of the same steps that are involved in a typical In-Vitro fertilization cycle: ovulation stimulation, ultrasound monitoring, and egg retrieval. After egg retrieval, the eggs will be cultured for a few hours and then frozen the same day for future use.
Embryo freezing is a technique that is recommended when high-quality embryos remain after embryo transfer. These embryos remain frozen until the patient is ready to use them. If patients have completed their families, they have the option to donate these frozen embryos to research, another couple, or training; the embryos can also be discarded.