Vitrification

liquid-nitrogen

What is vitrification?

Vitrification was introduced to Midland Fertility in 2008.  It is a laboratory process which rapidly freezes eggs and embryos, before they are stored in liquid nitrogen, for possible future thaw and use.

Worldwide evidence suggests that vitrification may improve pregnancy rates by increasing the survival rates of eggs after thawing, from 65% to 95%.

Who may benefit?

Vitrification may benefit the following:

What does the process involve?

Eggs, ‘Day 2’ or ‘Day’ 3 ‘cleaved’ embryos, and blastocysts may be vitrified. The vitrification process is carried out by highly-trained laboratory staff, who

  • places the egg or embryo on a film-like ‘leaf’ within a tiny droplet of cryoprotectant in less than 60 seconds
  • this is inserted into liquid nitrogen which rapidly cools the egg or embryo at a rate of ‒20,000°C per minute
  • the flash-freezing technique changes the liquid cryoprotectant to a glass-like solid in which the egg or embryo is preserved
  • it is then immediately stored in liquid nitrogen at ‒196°C for possible future use

Are there any risks of vitrification?

While vitrification is carried out only by highly trained scientists, patients should be aware that:

  • Midland Fertility cannot guarantee that eggs and embryos will survive the freeze/thaw process and cannot be held responsible for embryos not surviving this process
  • Midland Fertility will make every effort to ensure the continual ongoing safety of embryos, including regular checks on the cryobank which are also linked to a 24 hour call-out alarm system.   However, the clinic cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen catastrophic events such as the sudden failure of a vacuum lined cryobank

Costs

Cost of vitrification: There is no charge for this laboratory procedure as part of treatment at Midland Fertility

More information

Go to the Midland Fertility Patient Treatment Information page and download the following infosheets:

  • Egg Freezing – Elective
  • Egg Freezing – Emergency
  • IVF: In Vitro Fertilisation
  • ICSI: Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Retrieval
  • Blastocyst Transfer
  • Embryo Freezing

LU: 25/5/16/JAA