Medical History Made

The successful birth of healthy twins at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center from 12-year-old frozen embryos has given scientists and doctors a better insight into the efficacy of cryopreservation and the viability of the embryos once they are transferred to a woman's womb.
Medical history
This is believed to be the longest reported successful frozen human embryo transfer. Previously, the longest reported human cryopreservation resulting in delivery was seven years.

A report in the February 2004 issue of the Human Reproduction, details how Dr Ariel Revel of the In Vitro Fertilization Unit of Hadassah's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a team of Hadassah physicians handled the embryos, the in vitro process and pregnancy.

Their report confirms the finding that the duration of the storage does not appear to adversely affect the survival of frozen embryos. According to the team, Hadassah's policy is to store cryopreserved embryos for as long as requested by the couple.

In 1990, a Jerusalem resident and her husband, who were experiencing unexplained infertility problems, underwent in vitro fertilization producing 12 embryos.

Four of the embryos were transferred back to her womb immediately, while the other eight were frozen within 72 hours. The woman became pregnant from three of the initial four embryos and subsequently gave birth to healthy twin girls. A few years later, she became pregnant without assistance and delivered a healthy baby girl.

Two years ago, the couple decided they would like to have more children and again turned to Hadassah. Four of the eight remaining frozen embryos were transferred back and the woman became pregnant. When the fetuses were 36 weeks old, healthy twins -- a boy and a girl -- each weighing 5 pounds were born in May 2003.


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