Egg freezing through vitrification: Revolutionising fertility preservation

Written by: Dr Anu Chawla
Edited by: Karolyn Judge

Oocyte cryopreservation, commonly known as egg freezing, has emerged as a ground-breaking technique in reproductive medicine. The process involves the extraction, freezing, and storage of a woman's mature eggs, preserving them for potential future use.


Vitrification, a rapid cooling method, has revolutionised the field, offering remarkable advantages over traditional slow-freezing methods. Senior specialist in reproductive medicine Dr Anu Chawla highlights the advantages it offers, and emphasises the importance of awareness regarding egg freezing in this informative article.


The egg freezing through vitrification process

What is vitrification in oocyte cryopreservation?

Vitrification is a cryopreservation technique that allows for the ultra-rapid cooling of biological material, preventing the formation of ice crystals. In oocyte cryopreservation, this process involves the use of a high-concentration cryoprotectant solution to dehydrate the egg, followed by rapid immersion in liquid nitrogen. This results in the transformation of the egg into a glass-like, amorphous solid state, preserving cellular integrity and viability.



What are the advantages of vitrification over slow-freezing?


Improved survival rates

Vitrification has significantly elevated the survival rates of thawed oocytes. The absence of ice crystal formation, a common risk in slow-freezing, prevents damage to the cellular structure. As a result, vitrified eggs have shown remarkable resilience upon thawing, with survival rates surpassing 90 per cent.


Enhanced fertilisation rates

Vitrified eggs have demonstrated superior fertilisation rates when compared to their slow-frozen counterparts. The absence of ice-induced damage allows for a higher percentage of eggs to be successfully fertilised during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures. 


Increased pregnancy rates

Studies have consistently shown that vitrified oocytes yield higher pregnancy rates compared to slow-frozen oocytes. This can be attributed to the improved viability and integrity of vitrified eggs, resulting in higher quality embryos during subsequent IVF cycles. 


Reduced risk of chromosomal abnormalities

Vitrification minimises the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in thawed eggs. The absence of ice crystal formation preserves the genetic integrity of the oocyte, leading to a lower incidence of chromosomal anomalies in resulting embryos. 


Flexibility and convenience

Vitrified eggs offer women the flexibility to defer childbearing without compromising their reproductive potential. This is particularly beneficial for those facing medical treatments that may compromise fertility, as well as women pursuing educational or career aspirations.


Why is it important to create awareness of vitrification?

Despite the remarkable advantages of vitrification in oocyte cryopreservation, awareness regarding this technique remains limited. Several key factors contribute to this gap in knowledge.


Societal stigmas

Cultural norms and societal stigmas surrounding fertility preservation can discourage open discussions about egg freezing. Addressing these taboos through education and advocacy is crucial in normalising the concept.


Limited access

Accessibility to reputable fertility clinics offering vitrification services may be restricted in certain regions. Initiatives to expand access to this technology, particularly in underserved areas, are paramount. 


Lack of information

Many women are unaware of the potential benefits and advancements in oocyte cryopreservation. Educational campaigns, both within healthcare systems and the broader community, are essential in disseminating accurate information.



What does vitrification offer for the future of fertility medicine?

Vitrification in oocyte cryopreservation represents a monumental advancement in reproductive medicine, offering women the opportunity to preserve their fertility for the future. The advantages of vitrification over slow-freezing are undeniable, with improved survival rates, enhanced fertilisation rates, and increased pregnancy rates.


However, creating awareness about this technique is essential in ensuring that women are empowered with the knowledge and options to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. Through education, advocacy, and improved accessibility, we can pave the way for a future where every woman has the opportunity to exercise control over her fertility and family planning.





If you’re considering egg freezing through vitrification, arrange a consultation with Dr Chawla, who is highly experienced in fertility treatment, via her Top Doctors profile.   

By Dr Anu Chawla
Fertility specialist

Dr Anu Chawla is a highly-experienced senior fertility specialist, practicing Advanced Reproductive Medicine, in London

Her area of expertise is in Advanced Fertility PracticeRepeated IVF failures, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOSEndometriosis (Current Chairperson of Endometriosis Committee of FOGSI), Reproductive Immunology, Egg Freezing, Fibroids, Male Factor Infertility.

Dr Chawla qualified in medicine in Gujarat University in 2007 and then went on to pursue a Master's degree in obstetrics and gynaecology.  She became a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, in due course.  

She also obtained a diplomate of the National Board in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She holds Three Post Graduation Degrees in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, one from UK, two from India, from reputable universities. In addition, she did Advanced Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery and another Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine.

She trained in Advanced Level 3D Pelvic Ultrasounds with Prof Stuart Campbell, in London.

She went to the United States to do a Reproductive Medicine Observership Programme at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Shady Grove Fertility Clinics in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and in IVF Department at the EVMS Jones Institute in Virginia, USA, Centre of Reproductive Medicine New York, New Hope Fertility Centre New York.  

Dr Chawla has been previously appointed as a clinical lead consultant in Advanced Fertility Department at various leading teams in India, where she also founded the esteemed IVF department at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute at Gurgaon in Delhi Region.

Her high success rate and clinical excellence in Fertility Practice, with global expertise and perspective, brought her an offer to come back to London and join St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and the Queen Mary University, London Hospital as a Senior Fertility Specialist, where she did huge numbers of egg collections, embryo transfers etc.

She worked at Create Fertility, St. Paul’s, London and The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, London.

Combining clinical expertise in both gynaecological Fertility Enhancing Surgery and Reproductive Medicine, Dr Chawla's patients benefit from her sensitive, comprehensive and continuous care throughout their conception journey. 

Dr Anu Chawla's has been actively contributing to the various gynaecology associations, like Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, RCOG, London, The International Federation of OBGYN, FIGO, and the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies in India (FOGSI), amongst others.  

Dr Chawla is a regular invited faculty speaker, at various international and academic key fertility and OBGYN conferences around the world. Most recently, she was invited to chair a film festival session on the topic of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing at the XXIV FIGO World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics. She was additionally actively involved in campaigning to extend the time span of egg freezing for women in the UK, an amendment which has now been successfully enacted in to law. Dr Chawla also regularly conducts charitable medical projects in India, providing low cost reproductive and gynaecological care for those in need.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

  • Related procedures
  • Laparoscopy
    Preparation for childbirth
    Ovarian cyst
    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    Endometrial polyps
    Uterine malformations
    Medicine playback
    Fertility test
    This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.