Cryopreservation as a tool to reduce multiple birthCryopreservation as a tool to reduce multiple birth
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Reproductive biomedicine online. - Cambridge
7(2003):3, p. 286-294
The potential role of embryo cryopreservation from the point of view of prevention of multiple pregnancies is analysed. Cryopreservation is an unavoidable option in stimulated IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), but at the same time an underestimated tool in the prevention of twins. There is a need for an evaluation system not only of the cryotechnology process per se, but also of the true augmenting effect of cryopreservation on the total reproductive potential of a single oocyte harvest. Only cryopregnancies occurring after an unsuccesful fresh cycle (possibly followed by one or more unsuccessful freezethaw cycles with embryos from the same harvest) truly reflect the augmentation potential of cryopreservation. This potential is greater than generally thought. First, the efficacy of cryopreservation is suboptimal with survival rates between 30 and 70%. Second, if single-embryo transfer were applied in a much larger proportion of cycles than is presently the case, more embryos would be available for cryopreservation, resulting in more and more successful freezethaw cycles. In the future, the combination of elective single-embryo transfer with an optimized cryopreservation programme is likely to become the standard of care for routine IVF/ICSI treatment.