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Ongoing pregnancy rates from vitrified eggs as good as those from fresh
Date:6/30/2010

Rome, Italy: Embryos derived from oocytes (eggs) cryopreserved by the vitrification method are just as likely to produce an on-going pregnancy as those involving fresh oocytes, the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today. Dr. Ana Cobo, Cryobiology Unit director at Institut Universitari IVI Valencia, Valencia, Spain, told delegates that the results of her team's research would make egg donation both easier and safer in the future.

The scientists carried out a randomised clinical trial involving 600 recipients of either freshly-harvested oocytes or those preserved by the vitrification method, where oocytes are flash-frozen after the extraction of water, hence avoiding ice formation. Analysis of the results found that the on-going pregnancy rate in women who had received vitrified oocytes was 43.7% as opposed to 41.7% in the fresh oocyte group. The proportion of top-quality embryos was similar between the two groups, and there was also no difference in age or other demographic characteristics and the incidence of male factor infertility.

"Because we were able to show that there were no differences between the two groups before embryo implantation," said Dr. Cobo, "we can be certain that the on-going pregnancy rates in both groups were not influenced by any factor other than the method of oocyte preservation. Although there has been considerable circumstantial evidence that cryopreservation by the vitrification method produces results as good as those with freshly-harvested oocytes, until this trial there was still a lack of large randomly-controlled studies in the field."

The researchers say that their results will have a significant effect on the practice of egg-banking in the future. "Many patients will be able to benefit," said Dr. Cobo. "For example, there are cancer patients who will be able to preserve their fertility before undergoing treatment that can make them sterile, patie
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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