Advanced “Flash Freezing” Technique Performed by Reproductive Partners – UC San Diego Results in Success for Two Patients
San Diego, CA. – For the first time in San Diego County, patients have given birth to babies using a new egg preservation technique known as vitrification or “flash freezing.” Specialists at Reproductive Partners-UC San Diego Regional Fertility Center today announced that two patients who underwent the freezing technique are new mothers—one gave birth to twins. The center specializes in advanced In Vitro Fertilization services and is considered one of the top fertility centers in the nation.
“It’s a breakthrough for us on our very first attempt at this technique,” says Dr. Gabriel Garzo, the center’s medical director. “Two of our patients who underwent the freezing technique are now proud mothers of healthy, happy babies. Their success gives others who might benefit from this technique tremendous hope.”
One of the local success stories is San Diegan Shannon Taylor, who gave birth to an 8 lb. 5 oz. baby girl in April. “She’s such a gift. My husband and I are ecstatic. Yesterday we were running out of options, and today we’re a real family. We are grateful beyond belief.”
A second patient, military spouse Jeanna House, delivered twin boys in February, just before moving to Texas to join her husband there.
For years, egg freezing—also known as oocyte cryopreservation—has been at the forefront of fertility preservation research. In the “flash freezing” process, a patient’s unfertilized eggs are placed in a special vitrification (freezing) solution, which helps to protect the eggs during the freezing– and later– the warming process. Each egg is carefully placed into liquid nitrogen and stored frozen at -196° Celsius. Eggs remain frozen in a liquid nitrogen storage tank in the center’s laboratory until the patient is ready to conceive. Unlike previous methods, the technique used by Reproductive Partners allows more eggs to survive the warming process.
“Our recent success with ongoing pregnancies conceived through egg freezing marks another milestone in fertility preservation,” adds Dr. Garzo. “It’s an option for today’s women who may be busy pursuing a career or who don’t yet have a partner. They can freeze their unfertilized eggs until they’re ready for motherhood. The center’s advanced technique gives these women choices they’ve never had before.”
Egg freezing is also an option for cancer patients who want to preserve their fertility before undergoing challenging treatments like chemotherapy. Reproductive Partners and assistant professor in residence of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine fertility expert, Irene Su, MD, MSCE, is working directly with cancer patients at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, collecting and freezing their eggs for possible use in the future.