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Pacific Fertility Center Announces Breakthrough in Egg Freezing Technology
Date:2/21/2008

many years, this technology provided new challenges due to the tiny size of the straws and the speed at which they had to be cooled," says Joe Conaghan, Ph.D., HCLD, Laboratory Director and Embryologist at PFC. "Once proficient with the procedure, we began to freeze high quality oocytes from donors that had proven fertility. Using these quality oocytes, we could be assured that any failure would be the result of the vitrification technology and not the oocytes."

Five oocyte donors in their twenties were recruited and all of their oocytes were vitrified immediately after their oocyte retrieval procedures. The oocytes were then offered to specific PFC patients waiting for donated embryos. The immediate availability of the vitrified oocytes and the ability to choose the sperm source made this a great alternative to accepting donated embryos.

PFC had immediate success with the first recipient. "We had vitrified 16 oocytes from the first donor. For the first recipient we warmed only 7 of these," explains Dr. Conaghan. "Four hours later we injected a single sperm into 6 oocytes that survived the vitrification process (1 oocyte had not come through the process successfully). The next morning, 3 of the oocytes had fertilized. Two days later, 3 embryos were transferred. A positive pregnancy test and ultrasound confirmed a singleton pregnancy. This success was a great reward for our efforts."

Overall, PFC had 7 out of 10 embryos implant after transfers to 6 recipients. What is very exciting is that this implantation rate (70%) is comparable to the implantation rates seen with donor oocytes which have not been cryopreserved. While these results are encouraging and have brought great joy to a small number of patients, there are more issues to resolve before the center declares complete success. "The 70% success rate was obtained with the use of the highest quality oocytes from young donors in their 20's who were known to be fertile and healthy. However, we
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SOURCE Pacific Fertility Center
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