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Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Aug;19(2):171-80.

Human oocyte cryopreservation: comparison between slow and ultrarapid methods.

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BIOGENESI Reproductive Medicine Centre, Istituti Clinici Zucchi, V. Zucchi, 24-Monza, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Reprod Biomed Online. 2009 Nov;19(5):757.


The success of reproductive technologies is facilitated by the cryopreservation of embryos and gametes. In Italy, where legislation prohibits zygote and embryo cryopreservation, clinics have extensively introduced oocyte cryopreservation. Two different strategies of oocyte cryopreservation are available: slow freezing or ultrarapid cooling (vitrification). Although the results are very encouraging with both methods, there is still controversy regarding both the procedure itself and the most suitable method to use. This study reports the routine application of the two different oocyte cryopreservation methods in programmes running in two consecutive periods. The study centre carried out 286 thawing cycles for a total of 1348 thawed oocytes cryopreserved by the slow-freezing method and 59 warming cycles for a total of 285 warmed oocytes cryopreserved by vitrification. Comparison of the outcomes obtained with the slow-freezing method versus vitrification in women who underwent IVF for infertility showed survival, fertilization, pregnancy and implantation rates of 57.9% versus 78.9% (P < 0.0001), 64.6% versus 72.8% (P = 0.027), 7.6% versus 18.2% (P = 0.021) and 4.3% versus 9.3% (P = 0.043) respectively. These results suggest that oocyte vitrification is associated with a better outcome than the slow-freezing method.

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