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Center for Fertility Preservation Uses Breakthrough Egg Freezing Technology to Offer Women a Viable “Backup Plan”

Shady Grove Fertility,  April 27, 2010

ROCKVILLE, MD – April 27, 2010 – Shady Grove Fertility, the nation’s largest fertility and IVF center, announces the opening of its Center for Fertility Preservation, offering the most advanced technology in egg freezing. The new technology “flash freezes” a woman’s eggs until she’s ready to conceive, and yields significantly higher pregnancy rates over older technology.

“A woman’s ability to conceive is largely dependant on the age of her eggs,” said Robert Stillman, MD, Medical Director of Shady Grove Fertility Center. “Fertility is naturally declining with age, but the chances of getting pregnant drop off sharply after age 35. By the time she reaches her early 40’s there is only a very small chance of achieving a healthy, natural pregnancy and delivery.”

Until recently, older egg cryopreservation techniques were yielding unpredictable results and lower pregnancy rates. For this reason, they have been used primarily as a last resort for women with medical complications that compromise their fertility such as those at risk for premature menopause or those about to undergo cancer treatment. The unpredictable outcomes prevented most fertility centers from routinely offering the technology to women who wanted to proactively freeze and store their eggs for future use.

The Center for Fertility Preservation, along with a handful of other fertility centers across the U.S., is now able to offer a new, more successful egg freezing technique known as vitrification. Vitrification is a flash freezing technique which protects eggs from injury during the freezing and subsequent thawing process. The latest experience at Shady Grove Fertility and other leading groups consistently demonstrates dramatically improved pregnancy rates as compared to outcomes when using the now outdated, slow egg freezing methods.

“While not a guarantee, the ability to proactively freeze eggs at a younger age can greatly increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant with her own biological children well past the age of natural peak fertility,” noted Dr. Stillman.

There are roughly six million unmarried women in the U.S. between 30 and 39 years of age, many of whom are faced with a difficult personal dilemma: have children before they are ready, conceive through the use of donor eggs or run the risk of never having children at all. Fortunately, for those whose childbearing is delayed –for professional, personal, social or economic reasons – the Center for Fertility Preservation now empowers women with alternate choice to preserve their fertility. By making the choice to freeze her eggs during her fertile years a woman is able to help safeguard her fertility potential for future use when the circumstances and timing are right.

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