What is the science behind frozen donor eggs?

Fairfax EggBank uses the most advanced technology available, called vitrification, to freeze our donor eggs. In laymen’s terms, vitrification can be considered a “flash freeze” method. Until a few years ago, egg freezing wasn’t very common, but when it was attempted, it was done through a slow freeze technique.

The old fashioned, slow-freeze method had limited success because ice crystals would form within the egg and destroy its internal structure. By contrast, vitrification greatly minimizes the formation of ice crystals because the freezing is done so quickly and because of the use of special coating around the eggs called “cryoprotectants.”

In our close laboratory analysis, we observe that eggs that have been vitrified are virtually the same as freshly retrieved eggs. They appear very similar under the microscope, they fertilize at nearly the same rate as fresh eggs do and the resultant embryos grow and divide (progress) in the same manner.