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20-year-old embryo used in successful IVF

Healthy baby born using record-breaking 20-year-old frozen embryo

Posted: 11 October 2010
by Kimberley Smith
20-year-old embryo for IVF
This 20-year-old embryo is the oldest to be used in successful IVF

A healthy baby has been born, conceived using an embryo frozen 20 years ago. This is the longest period of time an embryo has been stored before being successful in the IVF process.

The embryo, which is an egg that has already been fertilised, was one of four frozen during successful IVF treatment in 1990. The genetic parents put the remaining three embryos up for adoption after successfully conceiving. It was not until this year that they were thawed and implanted into a 42-year-old woman from the US. Of the three, one successfully implanted and grew into a healthy baby.

This baby is biologically the sibling of the baby born during the original couple’s IVF treatment in 1990.

This may increase the chances of older women having babies using their own eggs frozen many years before. Some doctors believe embryos could be stored for as long as 40 years and in 2009, the length of time embryos could be legally stored in the UK doubled to 10 years.

Considering your fertility options? Find out more about assisted fertility.

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