EUROPE IVF International  

Vitrification: a new way to safely freeze embryos

Congratulations, more good quality embryos than you need have nested in the current cycle. Many infertile couples hear such good news from us. Embryos, which won’t be used now, can be gently frozen. This allows retaining reproductive cells or embryos for many years.

Currently, the emphasis is more and more on reducing the number of embryos for embryo transfer. Vitrification is an integral part of the treatment and gives our patients a better chance of success in a single stimulation. During the subsequent cryoembryotransfer the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation and the need for general anesthesia are eliminated. Also lower costs are important.

In what cases is vitrification suitable:

  • If the first IVF attempt isn’t successful, you want to have other embryos at hand quickly.
  • If you are planning another child in a few years and do not want to undergo the sampling of embryonic cells again.
  • You plan the child later, but one of the partners is supposed to go for chemotherapy or radiotherapy and there’s a risk of becoming infertile.

Vitrification is a modern and safe method of freezing

Přístroj pro vitrifikaci At our clinic we use vitrification which is a more modern method than cryopreservation. We use the closed Rapid-i system in which the embryo is not in direct contact with liquid nitrogen.

  • Technique of freezing reproductive cells using a special medium for storing in liquid nitrogen at -196 °C.
  • Slow (temperature drops by about 0.3 degrees per minute)
  • Ice crystals are formed which can adversely affect the quality of frozen embryos and reduce the chance of pregnancy
  • Modern technique of cryopreservation
  • Sudden cooling of reproductive cells to the temperature of -196 °C, in seconds.
  • A medium containing a high dose of cryoprotectants is used, protecting cells from damage.
  • This technique is suitable also for the storage of oocytes

How does the vitrification work:

  1. We put the embryos into a preservative called cryoprotectant.
  2. We rapidly cool down the drop of cryoprotectant with the embryo to the temperature of liquid nitrogen – 196 degrees.
  3. No ice crystals will be created in the protective substance, nor in the embryo.
  4. We store the embryo in the sealed casing in liquid nitrogen.
  5. Before using we quickly warm up the embryo to body temperature and we wash away the preservative.
  6. A transfer to the uterus can happen a few hours later.

Experience of foreign experts

The first child in the world from a frozen embryo was born in Australia already in 1984. The first Czech baby from a frozen embryo was born in 1993. At that time a slower cryopreservation was still being used.

When using vitrification, however, there is a much bigger chance of the frozen embryo to nest well. The closed system of vitrification supports developmental competences of the embryo (study1) and does not harm the embryonic cells. Research (study2), which evaluated the embryos after 1 and 6 years after being frozen, confirmed that neither the duration of embryo´s survival, nor the pregnancy rate decreased.

Suitability of a clinical use of a closed vitrification system has been demonstrated even for freezing of eggs, their fertilization and embryo development (study3).

Contributions at the specialized conferences, that have been made for example at a meeting of the Japanese Society for Reproductive Medicine in 2011, confirmed, that vitrification in the Rapid-i system is very successful. Up to 95% of the embryos can be used after defrosting.

Contact us and take the first step toward infertility treatment

We will tailor the treatment specifically for you using laboratory methods and techniques of artificial fertilization. Our success rate is up to 68%. Fill out the questionnaire or call us straight away and change your life.

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