Vitrification is the most modern method of cryopreservation available. A ‘quick-freeze’ technology, it utilises liquid nitrogen to rapidly lower the temperature of reproductive cells, at a rate approximately 10,000 times faster than traditional ‘slow-freeze’ methods. Cells are preserved in a liquid nitrogen medium at a temperature of -196°C and may be kept for 13 years.
Vitrification is the sole viable method for egg freezing and the most advisable method for freezing embryos. Its advantages are the obvious expedited time frame and, importantly, the avoidance of the crystals that form in traditional slow-freezing methods, which can adversely affect embryo and egg quality. Embryos preserved by vitrification boast a 95% survival rate after thawing and maintain an appearance similar to fresh embryos.