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Human oocyte cryopreservation has undergone rapid growth, with technical improvement and increasing clinical application over the last ten years. Storing eggs is ethical and gives many young women their most realistic chance of conception. Cryopreservation, however, is still considered by many as an experimental technique and conflicting reports are published as to its efficacy. For these reasons, it is necessary to give reproductive researchers and practitioners comprehensive and systematic information about the field. This book describes and analyses the history of human oocyte freezing, the main steps of technical evolution, and the pros and cons of different techniques. In addition, the clinical applications, long-term outcome, efficiency and safety of oocyte cryopreservation are detailed. The Handbook of Human Oocyte Cryopreservation gives a complete picture of the field today and is a valuable text for embryologists, cryobiologists, reproductive medicine practitioners and anyone involved in researching and implementing the technique.
Embryo cryopreservation is crucial for both the efficiency and the safety of assisted reproduction treatments. The potential risks of damage for cryopreserved-thawed embryos include exposure to medium biochemical contaminants, ice crystal formation within the embryo, toxic effect of cryoprotectants, damage during thawing process, physical damage during embryo manipulation, and DNA damage during embryo storage; but freezing itself cannot be considered a mutagenic procedure. Conventional embryo freezing concerns multicell embryos. Cryopreservation of early-stage embryos can be considered a valid alternative to conventional embryo cryopreservation. Cryopreservation of unfertilized oocytes presents more technical problems than early-stage embryo cryopreservation. The most alarming risk related with oocyte cryopreservation is aneuploidy in embryos conceived with this method. Children born from cryopreserved oocytes should be accurately monitored to ascertain the correct growth and development and to exclude possible genetic anomalies and malformations.
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