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Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1154:439-54. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0659-8_20.

Cryopreservation of eggs.

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Reproductive Biology Associates, 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30342, USA,


Oocyte cryopreservation is playing an increasingly important role in the field of human infertility treatment. The ability to store viable oocytes for later use has given many women the option to delay childbearing in order to pursue other ventures in life, without the concern of losing the opportunity to have a family. Furthermore, oocyte cryopreservation is very valuable for diseased patients who have to undergo treatments that may compromise fertility. Also, infertility patients who produce large numbers of oocytes during a retrieval cycle now have the option of storing some eggs prior to fertilization, thereby reducing the number of embryos that have to be managed. Lastly, oocyte cryopreservation enables egg donation programs that are independent of fresh donations, which makes it possible for numerous recipients to benefit from a single donor.Traditionally, slow freezing was the only method available for oocyte cryopreservation. However, recent years have shown that ultrarapid cooling of oocytes results in higher survival and developmental rates. Thus, vitrification is today's preferred method of oocyte cryopreservation and therefore the only technique described.In this chapter, we present two reliable methods of oocyte vitrification that have been in use for several years and that have been experimentally validated. Since no single vitrification method is clearly superior to the rest, other systems are also briefly described to give the reader options when deciding which methods to utilize in their practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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