22nd Aug, 2012
THE FIRST CONFIRMED clinical pregnancy in Ireland using a new technique known as ‘Blastocyst Vitrification’ has just been announced by Waterstone Clinic. The clinic, which has been providing assisted conception services for over a decade, this week confirmed an on-going twin pregnancy of eight week’s gestation.
Waterstone Clinic’s Medical Director, Dr John Waterstone commented: “We are delighted to confirm the first clinical pregnancy using vitrification in Ireland.
Vitrification is a new technique for cryopreserving embryos which involves freezing the embryo about 600 times faster than ever before. This ultrarapid process is so fast that it literally allows no time for intracellular ice formation – which can cause trauma to the embryos. In conventional (slow) freezing only 70% of embryos survive the freeze-thaw process, and those that do survive have less likelihood of generating a pregnancy. In contrast, embryos which have been ‘vitrified’ have a greater than 90% freeze-thaw survival rate, and a pregnancy generating potential that is comparable to treatment cycles carried out using fresh embryos.”
The Irish Medicines Board approved the introduction of vitrification services at several Irish fertility clinics earlier this year, allowing them to provide patients with an improved chance of success using frozen embryos.
Waterstone Clinic is exceptionally proud of the contribution Dr Waterstone and his team have made to clinical research and development in the field of assisted conception, since the clinic first opened in 2002.
In 2007, the clinic was the first in Ireland to introduce an ‘Elective Single Embryo Transfer’ (E-SET) policy which, to date, has produced a live birth rate of 60% per embryo transfer. The policy was developed to reduce the number of multiple pregnancies resulting from assisted conception treatment. Its continued success, along with the introduction of this new vitrification freezing technique, will significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome for patients going forward, without raising the cost of IVF treatment.