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Blastocyst Vitrification: The Embryo Freezing Process

2At CFI, our lab uses an advanced freezing technique known as vitrification. This is ultra-rapid IVF embryo freezing instead of the traditional slow freezing process.

Scientifically speaking, vitrification is the process of converting something into a glass-like solid, free of any crystal formation. By adding a cryoprotectant, water can be cooled until it hardens like glass without any ice crystals forming. This is important in the embryology world because ice crystal formation can be very damaging to frozen embryos.

Vitrification in IVF can allow freezing of spare embryos with better post-thaw survival rates and higher pregnancy and live birth rates from frozen embryo transfer cycles. This rapid freezing process is the most effective method of successfully freezing blastocysts.

Blastocysts have a large space in the middle of the embryo that fills with fluid. Embryologists have found that making a tiny hole between two cells permits the fluid to leak out, collapsing the embryo and permitting more effective vitrification.  Blastocyst stage embryos are often “collapsed” on purpose before freezing to allow the cryoprotectant agents to infiltrate the cells in the embryo more effectively.

“At CFI, we’ve seen vastly improved post-thaw embryo survival and substantially higher pregnancy rates after frozen transfer procedures,” noted Cihan Halicigil, CFI’s Chief Embryologist.

If there are any quality blastocysts (advanced day five or day six embryo) remaining at the end of a treatment cycle, CFI will save them through the vitrification freezing process for future use. When ready, we thaw out the frozen blastocysts for transfer. It’s a great way to maximize your chances for a positive result after the eggs are harvested.

Carolinas Fertility Institute is a practice with offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and a new office opening in Charlotte this summer, that specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility. CFI provides advanced reproductive technologies in a comforting, supportive environment to give patients the personal care they deserve.

CFI currently has among the highest IVF success rates in the nation due to a combination of professional talent and the latest technology. CFI has been delighting patients since their opening in March 2015, specializing in highly-personalized treatment and resulting in many first-cycle pregnancies.

The practice accepts most insurance plans and offers a range of options for self-pay patients, including IVF, Donor egg IVF and Fertility Preservation. Patients interested in obtaining additional information about Carolinas Fertility Institute and our services may call 336 448 9100 or visit us at www.CarolinasFertilityInstitute.com.