If you’ve never heard of the term ‘vitrification’ before, then now is the time to find out all you can about this latest and most advanced procedure in egg freezing. Vitrification, also referred to as ultra-rapid egg freezing, has created waves around the world (particularly in the UK) for its high success rate and other notable benefits. So what exactly is vitrification, and how can you benefit from it?
In the past…
The freezing of embryos has indeed been around for a long time – over three decades, to be precise. But we already know that this procedure has not really met with great results all around. Conventional freezing or cryopreservation resulted in extensive damage, not only in the freezing process, but in the defrosting process as well. With the conventional freezing process, the embryo was cooled down until it froze eventually – but this process often resulted in the formation of ice crystals inside the embryo’s cells, therefore damaging the embryo and making it less viable.
The wonders of vitrification
But thanks to more advanced methods such as vitrification, which can freeze both embryos and unfertilised eggs, the risk of damage has been lessened significantly. Vitrification, in its essence, is simply the freezing of eggs or embryo at a rate that is actually 600 times quicker than conventional or traditional cryopreservation. As a result, the embryo has less trauma and less damage. As a matter of fact, vitrification has a success rate of freezing and thawing of about 95% - and the chance of a pregnancy with vitrification is almost similar to that of using fresh eggs or embryos.
Vitrification and its benefit to certain conditions
Vitrification definitely brings with it many benefits, especially when it comes to the storage and use of eggs which have not yet been fertilised, but it has a specific benefit for certain conditions as well. For instance, some women with cancer can still preserve their eggs – and therefore preserve their own fertility. In the past, if a woman were to undergo cancer treatment (which often made them infertile or sterile), she would have to freeze her embryos which were already fertilised. But in most instances, this was only feasible when used with donor sperm.
Vitrification and its benefits to the modern woman
Of course, vitrification brings other benefits to modern women as well – especially those who are not yet ready to begin a family and would like to wait, but understand that their bodies may not have the ideal reproductive functions if they wait too long. With this option becoming more and more readily available to women, especially in areas like London, where egg freezing London clinics are already available at prominent places such as The Centre for Reproductive & Genetic Health, having a child at the right time is no longer a difficulty.