New Procedure Could Let Cancer Patients Have Kids
By Tyler Lopez, 7NEWS DENVERÂ Reporter
DENVER — Elizabeth “Beth” Griess is about to make history as the first Colorado woman to give birth thanks to a new freezing process called vitrification.
She and her husband joined a test study through the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) in January 2007.
While freezing fertilized eggs is nothing new, doctors are only now able to properly freeze unfertilized eggs, offering women more choices about when to start a family.
“The more it becomes reality, the more you think about the cool things that you can end up doing,” Keith Griess, the expectant father, said.
He and his wife, Beth, are part of a 10-couple study through CCRM that has found success with six pregnancies.
It’s a huge jump from the typical 10 percent success rate found with previous unfertilized egg freezing.
After five years of research by Dr. William Schoolcraft and associates, including trips to Japan and Spain, the process is only now being offered in Colorado.
The key, said doctors, is a more accommodating environment for the eggs in the petri dish.
“It’s development of a media that allows these embryos to freeze without forming large ice crystals,” said Dr. Debra Minjarez, a reproductive endocrinologist from Rose Medical Center and CCRM. “I think it’s really going to revolutionize how we perform in vitro and what we have available for patients.”
Beth, 39, had two miscarriages, including one a year ago.
Her body was essentially fighting the fertilized eggs, a condition called PCOS, Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.