The advancements and miracles that science and technology can perform are astonishing. One such wonder is frozen embryos remaining inside the freezer with chances of live birth even for decades. It is now for the world to watch the live birth of twins from a donated embryo in the National Embryo Donation Centre that froze for more than 30 years. These are the longest-frozen embryos with live birth results. Lydia and Timothy, the twins from the historic embryos, were born to Philip Ridgeway and Rachel Ridgeway from Oregon on October 31. 

About the birth

The couple has four children, and none were through artificial birth methods. They had the vision to bring a child who was needy and felt unwanted. The couple’s ideology had brought them the embryo that waited for years, and they did not intend to set any records as such. 

According to Mr. Ridgeway, when embryos that later developed into his children were placed in the freezer, he was five years old. The fetus waited for the home destined to be theirs since then. The fertilized eggs that were produced for another pair reached as a donation to The National Embryo Donation Centre has aided with 1,200 births through the fertilized eggs donated to the faith-based organization. 

What are frozen embryos?

The process of freezing an embryo involves the fusion of an egg from a woman’s ovary with a sperm in the laboratory. The procedure leads to the formation of an embryo. It is preserved in the freezer until implantation in the uterus when needed. There are chances of failure in the frozen embryos resulting in a live birth. Hence it is not one embryo preserved, but a few in case of any unfortunate occurrences. The fertilized eggs can last in the freezer retaining their fertility even for decades under appropriate conditions. This In Vitro fertilization method can help those who have infertility issues and are looking for means to have children. 

According to experts, the quality of the embryo and the egg bearer’s age are proportional. Hence, the younger the egg bearer, the better the quality of the egg. 

How long can frozen embryos survive?

Frozen embryos can survive even after decades. The embryos that survived the longest duration are the ones of Lydia and Timothy, whose journey started in 1992. The tiny miracles remained in the freezer at a temperature of 200 degrees below 0. After a waiting period of 29 years and ten months, the embryos got into the womb of Rachel, and the scan showed signs of twins. 

The freezing duration of the fetus can vary from a week to even decades, but that has no impact on the fertilized egg. The embryo from which the twins Lydia and Timothy were born will be the same as any embryo frozen a while ago.  This blog hopes to bring awareness to people about frozen embryos and the historic event that has taken place. Talk to a healthcare provider and study the legalities of the procedure thoroughly before beginning.