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Embryo Cryopreservation

Freezing of Embryos (Embryo Cryopreservation)

Earlier reference was made to the freezing of excess embryos, which involves freezing embryos under carefully controlled conditions, storing the embryos under liquid nitrogen for various time intervals and thawing them for placement in the recipient’s uterus. Human pregnancies have been established following transfer of embryos cryopreserved at all stages, from pre-cleavage to expanded blastocyst.

The risks to the embryo(s) include, but are not limited to, the potential of a laboratory accident occurring during the additional handling and manipulation required and a failure of refrigeration equipment. These risks can be minimized, but not eliminated, by employing trained personnel and scrupulously adhering to quality-control procedures. It must also be understood that substantial loss of embryo viability can occur even during an uneventful cryopreservation procedure and a significant number of thawed embryos may be rendered untransferable.