“Thanks to the wonderful compassion and thoughtfulness of egg donors, many couples have realized their dreams of having a family”
First Frozen Egg Pregnancy in Arizona
The Fertility Treatment Center announced that it has achieved the first successful In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy in Arizona and the Southwestern United States using frozen human eggs (oocytes). The oocytes were frozen, then later thawed, fertilized, and transferred into the uterus of our patient, who has now delivered a healthy baby. Using a freezing device invented by embryologist Jun Tao, Ph.D., HLCD, the procedure was performed at the FTC in the ASU Research Park. Three additional thawed eggs were fertilized and the resulting embryos subsequently re-frozen for future transfer in the patient’s uterus.
“This technology has been evolving for several years and we have proceeded cautiously, following scientific standards and guidelines set forth by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine”, said H. Randall Craig, M.D., medical director at FTC. “To achieve a viable, ongoing pregnancy with our first case is very encouraging”.
Human sperm and embryos have been successfully frozen for several decades, but human eggs did not survive freezing until recent technology was developed. The freezing technique, known as vitrification, preserves a woman’s eggs after they have been removed from her ovaries. Frozen eggs can be stored indefinitely, and then thawed for fertilization and implantation into the uterus, according to Dr. Tao, the IVF laboratory director at FTC.
Egg freezing allows women undergoing cancer treatments or surgical removal of the ovaries to preserve her fertility. “Young woman diagnosed with cancer require treatments that can dramatically reduce the chances of achieving pregnancy”, Dr. Craig says. “Egg freezing offers hope that they can have children after successful cancer therapy”.
A significant number of women who delay childbearing to pursue professional careers would also benefit from freezing their eggs at a younger age in order to optimize the chance for future pregnancy. “Before long, freezing and storing a college student’s eggs may be the ideal graduation gift”, according to Dr. Craig.
In addition to the first frozen egg pregnancy in Arizona, FTC was also the first fertility center in the Southwestern U.S. to achieve a pregnancy using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), resulting in a child born free of Huntington’s disease.
“Since opening our doors in 1990, FTC has been Arizona’s leader in the field of reproductive medicine, offering patient’s the latest and most advanced fertility therapies to maximize the chance of achieving a successful pregnancy”, said Dr. Craig. “Cutting edge research, thousands of babies, and many, many heart warming stories validate our mission”