Live birth from a frozen-thawed pronuclear stage embryo almost 20 years after its cryopreservation

Fertil Steril. 2011 Mar 1;95(3):1120.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.08.056.


Objective: To report a live birth after transfer of cryopreserved pronuclear embryos in cryostorage for almost 20 years.

Design: Case report.

Setting: Academic IVF center.

Patient(s): A 42-year-old female patient with low ovarian reserve receiving donated embryos. These embryos were the result of an anonymous donation from an infertile couple who had conceived during her IVF treatment.

Intervention(s): Cryopreservation (slow-freeze method) and thawing of pronuclear stage embryos, and ultrasound-guided uterine ET.

Main outcome measure(s): Live birth.

Result(s): Five pronuclear embryos were thawed; two embryos survived, cleaved, and were transferred on day 2. A singleton term pregnancy was achieved with the delivery of a healthy boy.

Conclusion(s): A healthy live birth was documented after uterine transfer of pronuclear stage cryopreserved (slow freeze)-thawed embryos that were in storage for 19 years and 7 months. To our knowledge this case represents the "oldest" cryopreserved human embryos resulting in a live birth to date.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Live Birth*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer*