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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 307268, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/307268
Review Article

Cryopreservation of Embryos and Oocytes in Human Assisted Reproduction

1Infertility and IVF Center of Buda, Szent János Hospital, Budapest 1125, Hungary
2Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, Budapest 1078, Hungary

Received 12 January 2014; Accepted 13 February 2014; Published 23 March 2014

Academic Editor: Irma Virant-Klun

Copyright © 2014 János Konc et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Both sperm and embryo cryopreservation have become routine procedures in human assisted reproduction and oocyte cryopreservation is being introduced into clinical practice and is getting more and more widely used. Embryo cryopreservation has decreased the number of fresh embryo transfers and maximized the effectiveness of the IVF cycle. The data shows that women who had transfers of fresh and frozen embryos obtained 8% additional births by using their cryopreserved embryos. Oocyte cryopreservation offers more advantages compared to embryo freezing, such as fertility preservation in women at risk of losing fertility due to oncological treatment or chronic disease, egg donation, and postponing childbirth, and eliminates religious and/or other ethical, legal, and moral concerns of embryo freezing. In this review, the basic principles, methodology, and practical experiences as well as safety and other aspects concerning slow cooling and ultrarapid cooling (vitrification) of human embryos and oocytes are summarized.