Freezing embryos

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Freezing embryos

Embryo cryopreservation is freezing of the human embryo. Cell freezing, human cell freezing, animal cell freezing has been done for decades. Human sperm was first frozen 50 or 60 years ago. We were one of the first groups in the world and the first group in the United States to succesfully freeze a human embryo, thaw it and produce a live offspring in 1986. Cryobiology or cryotechnology is just the ability to safely freeze and store cells. In this case, we are talking about embryos. The embryonic cells can be frozen. They can be stored for years, thawed, produce normal children. It is a way to preserve the extra embryos that occur during an IVF stimulation cycle. Most of the time we stimulate we get 10, 12, 15 eggs from the woman. We transfer one, two, three embryos back to her. We want to be able to safely store those other embryos so if she is pregnant, she can wait a couple years and have a baby from a frozen embryo. If she is not pregnant, she can wait a month and then go through a cycle and use the frozen embryos.

Watch Richard Marrs, MD's video on Freezing embryos...


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Richard Marrs, MD

Fertility Specialist

Dr. Richard Marrs is a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. He studied medicine and trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Texas before moving to Southern California to study Reproductive Endocrinology. While at the University of Southern California, he developed one of the country’s first IVF programs, which is responsible for the second IVF birth in the United States and the first birth from cryopreserved embryos in the United States in 1986. He is internationally recognized for his contributions to the development of IVF. He has published over 200 papers and books in the area of Reproductive Endocrinology and In Vitro Fertilization and is a prominent figure in the national and international infertility communities. In 1996, he published a book for couples called the Dr. Richard Marrs' Fertility Book: America's Leading Infertility Expert Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Getting Pregnant.

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