Eggs vitrified for a long time keep their quality intact

Eggs vitrified for long periods of time keep their quality intactas shown by a study carried out by Eugin researchers who presented today at the 38th Annual Congress of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) held in Milan (Italy).

The study does not identify differences in the survival or fertilization rates of vitrified oocytes that were stored between 4 and 8 years compared to those that were kept for shorter periods, and, according to the researchers, the rates of pregnancy and of the baby born also remained high.

To carry out the research, Eugin scientists in Barcelona analyzed more than 5,000 in vitro fertilization cycles in patients who used previously vitrified donor eggs, a technique used to store the mature eggs of women who want to use them in the future with the same probability of pregnancy as there was at the time that treatment was done.

“Currently, vitrification is the most effective method to freeze oocytes and preserve fertility, but, as it is a relatively recent technique, which began to be used about 10 years ago, the effect of long-term storage of oocytes in nitrogen banks was not known”, explained Eugin biologist Marc Torra-Massana.

The method used to vitrify the ovules is ultra-fast freezing, immersing the ovules in liquid nitrogen at -196ºC, so that the cells remain unchanged until they are used.

The oocytes are preserved in tanks of liquid nitrogen in the vapor phase.

Oocyte vitrification is used for medical reasons, that is, in patients who undergo very aggressive treatments for their fertility, such as oncological treatments, or gynecological surgeries; and it is also used for social reasons, that is, if the woman decides to postpone her motherhood for personal reasons.

This procedure is usually performed for women up to 40 years of age, although doctors advise it especially for those under 35, who want to be mothers in the future, since depending on the age of the woman at the time of oocyte freezing , the success rate of egg freezing treatment varies.

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For this reason, the younger fertility is preserved, the better success rates are recorded.

“The results of this study, in which we have worked for 8 years, between 2013 and 2021, represent a further step in the knowledge of vitrification applied to oocyte cryopreservation and have shown that it is a good alternative for young patients who require preserve their eggs in the long term, while providing new scenarios in egg donation programs, treatments with a growing social demand”, summarized Torra-Massana.

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