Wake Forest Baptist Health’s Center for Fertility, Endocrinology and Menopause offers women who are not ready to conceive, but need to preserve their fertility, a chance at a healthy baby down the road—through a technique called vitrification.

Used in oocyte (egg) cryopreservation, vitrification lowers the temperature in the cell rapidly (400° C per second), preventing water from freezing. Unlike conventional freezing, the water hardens to a glass-like substance inside and around the cell, eliminating the risk of water crystal formation.

This option is used most often by women facing fertility-damaging treatment such as chemotherapy, or women who may want to postpone pregnancy to advanced maternal years.

Since offering this method, multiple women have become pregnant from their thawed eggs.

In addition to egg freezing, the Center also offers sperm cryopreservation to male patients prior to chemotherapy or a vasectomy.