Vitrification in assisted reproduction: Myths, mistakes, disbeliefs and confusion

Gâbor Vajta, Z. P. Nagy, A. Cobo, J. Conceicao, J. Yovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this work is to update embryologists and clinicians on different approaches in human oocyte and embryo cryopreservation, by clarifying some misunderstandings and explaining the underlying reasons for controversial opinions. The work is based on literature review and critical analysis of published papers or conference abstracts during the last 24 years, with special focus on the last 3 years. Due to the latest advancements in techniques, cryopreservation now offers new perspectives along with solutions to many demanding problems, and has developed from a backup procedure to a successful alternative that is an indispensable constituent of assisted reproductive techniques. However, this progress is not free from controversies, at some points is rather serendipitous, and many factors, including human ones, hamper the selection and widespread application of the most efficient technique for the given task. A better understanding of the basic features of the two rival approaches (slow-rate freezing and vitrification), a clarification of terms and technical details, and a balanced, pragmatic evaluation of possible risks and potential, or definite, gains are required to accelerate advancement. Alternatively, the increasing flow of patients to the few assisted reproduction clinics and countries that are highly successful in this field will enforce the required changes in methodology and mentality worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive biomedicine online
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Cryopreservation
  • Embryo
  • Freezing
  • Human
  • Oocyte
  • Vitrification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology

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