How successful is female fertility preservation?

A recent meta-analysis conducted at the New York Medical College and the University of California Davis provides age-specific probabilities of achieving a live birth using IVF and eggs that were previously frozen using a slow freezing method (SF) and a more recent technique called vitrification (VF).

The study was published in Fertility and Sterility, and compared live birth rates in 10 clinical studies conducted between 1996 and 2011. In total, the researchers compiled data from 2265 cycles undergone by 1805 patients with 11,122 SF eggs and 1,957 VF eggs. At the time of egg freezing, the women were between 20 and 51 years of age. The cycles using SF eggs had resulted in 253 pregnancies and 163 live births while the cycles using VF eggs resulted in 75 pregnancies and 61 live births.

The researchers found that live birth rates declined with increasing age, regardless of the freezing technique. In addition, the age at which the women had frozen their eggs played a significant role in implantation rates. Women whose eggs had been frozen using SF before age 30 had a greater than 8.9% likelihood of implantation per embryo. The rate declined to 4.3% for eggs frozen after age 40. For cycles using eggs that had been frozen using VF, implantation rates were 13.2% for eggs frozen before age 30, dropping to 8.6% for eggs frozen after age 40.

In response to this study, Linda Giudice, MD, PhD., president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine said:

“These probabilities based on patient age will greatly enhance our ability to counsel women who are considering egg freezing. Although the data used here came from infertility patients with different diagnoses of infertility, the information will also be useful to women who want to preserve their fertility in the prospect of gonadotoxic therapies for cancer and other conditions and, we hope, be useful in gaining insurance coverage for the procedure.

To read more about fertility preservation, click here.

To read the study abstract click here. 

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