RHS in the News: The Safety of Your Frozen Eggs and Embryos

In October 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) made the revolutionary announcement that egg freezing was no longer considered an experimental procedure. “Oocyte cryopreservation is an exciting and improving technology, and should no longer be considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, M.D., Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.

Fertility preservation via egg or embryo freezing offers couples and individuals the opportunity to preserve their ability to have children in the future. For some women, a medical reason, such as cancer treatment, may lead them to seek fertility preservation. For others, the reason is personal, such as to defer child bearing or to pursue a chosen career path.

In addition to freezing embryos to preserve fertility, excess embryos may be frozen after a fresh IVF cycle. These embryos can be implanted at a later date in a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET). Sperm may also be frozen to be used for IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) at a later date.

A storage tank failure at a Cleveland fertility clinic earlier this year compromised more than 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos. Understandably, this accident has raised questions and concerns about tank maintenance and safety protocols. RHS is committed to the best practices as outlined by our accrediting body, The College of American Pathologists. Tanks are monitored 24 hours a day and any issues are immediately addressed by the laboratory staff.

Dr. Maria Simbra of CBS affiliate KDKA-TV recently completed a story about tank safety measures and spent the better amount of an afternoon visiting the RHS lab and interviewing our experts for our story, including lab manager Jennifer Hamilton. Take a look inside our embryology lab and learn about RHS’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of your eggs and embryos by linking here.


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