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What is Cryopreservation & All Its Techniques?

Embryo freezing Cryopreservation

What is Cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation technique is a method in which sperms, eggs, and embryos are frozen at a sub-zero temperature to preserve them for the future when the need arises. Where sperm may be used for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) approaches. And Eggs and embryos can be used in the approaches associated with IVF.

Importance of Cryopreservation techniques

Cryopreservation gives indefinite longevity for the cells being frozen. At the time of freezing, all biological work is suspended until the cells are thawed or defrosted.

Cryopreservation techniques generally use liquid nitrogen to freeze the eggs, sperm, or embryos to -320 stages Fahrenheit. The lab uses a cryoprotective medium to prevent harm to the cells all through the system. It is unknown how long reproductive cells can be frozen and saved for future use, but cryopreservation is considered to be indefinite.

What are types of Cryopreservation techniques?

There are 3 types of Cryopreservation 

  • Semen Freezing 
  • Embryo Freezing
  • Egg Freezing 

Semen Freezing: 

Semen Freezing of semen banking is another aspect of Cryopreservation. It starts with a blood test and then the male partner provides a semen sample. Lastly, it is stored in a special freezing solution in small vials that contain liquid nitrogen. 

Steps on Semen Freezing: 

Step 1: Primary consultation: After primary consumption with our fertility experts,  the process of semen freezing starts where the male partner provides a semen sample. 

Step 2: Semen collection: On the insemination day, a semen sample is collected from the male partner, where it is stored in a special freezing solution in small vials that contain liquid nitrogen.

Step 3: Preserving of semen:

After semen collection is done, the semen sample is then stored and preserved in our labs enabled with advanced technology. 

Who needs semen freezing?

Impending surgery or treatment that may damage your fertility is the most common reason for freezing and banking sperm. For example vasectomy and treatment for cancer.

If your sperm count or quality is affected by your treatment, or if a vasectomy reversal proves unsuccessful, sperm banking – in conjunction with assisted conception techniques – may allow you to have your own biological child in the future.

What happens at the Clinic?

You’ll have a consultation with one of our fertility specialists to discuss the procedures involved and to sign the appropriate consent forms. You can also see a counsellor if you wish.

You’ll be required to produce sperm samples and the Centre has a suite of special rooms designed to put you at ease. These samples will be frozen for your future use.

If sperm is frozen and stored for you at the Centre, we’ll contact you each year and ask you to confirm your wishes for the next 12 months.

Embryo Freezing: 

Freezing embryos is another technique that also helps in preserving and ascertaining future fertility chances. Usually, people who choose embryo freezing procedures are undergoing cancer treatment, hormone therapy, or another medical intervention that hampers and affects their fertility.

Steps in Embryo Freezing:

Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation 

IVF process is to stimulate the production of 10-15 eggs, to help the female partner and increase the chances of conceiving and getting pregnant.

Step 3: Egg and sperm collection:

Once the eggs are retrieved fertilization process begins, where the mature eggs are placed in an incubator and are fertilized with sperm within a couple of hours. 

Step 4: Fertilisation

Fertilization involves the observation of embryos until it reaches the blastocyst stage. Once the sperm fertilizes the egg, it becomes an embryo. Monitoring of the embryo is completed in 2 to 6 days. 

Step 5: Embryo development

After the embryo develops into the blastocyst stage which generally takes place within 2 to 6 days of the fertilization process. 

Step 6: Preserving of embryos:

Lastly, these developed embryos are then stored and preserved in our labs enabled with advanced technology. 

Who needs embryo freezing?

If you’re a woman, embryo freezing may be an option when you’re facing surgery or cancer therapies that may affect your ability to produce healthy eggs in the future. Of course, there has to be enough time – before these therapies begin – to create the embryos, either with the sperm of your partner or a donor.

Our medical team will liaise closely with your specialist to ensure that the embryo freezing treatment is safe for you, and not detrimental to your medical condition. 

If you are a man in similar circumstances, we recommend sperm freezing which is a proven and very successful technique that can be completed more quickly and is much easier for you than undergoing a full IVF cycle.

There may be other circumstances where embryo freezing is also appropriate, and you can discuss these with one of our fertility specialist doctors. 

For a better understanding of embryo freezing, visit our blog on our official website and read all about embryo freezing. 

What happens at the Clinic?

Your treatment cycle is exactly the same as it is for IVF. The only difference is that all of your embryos will be frozen at the optimum time – an assessment made by our embryologists – rather than transferred to your womb.

If your embryos are frozen and stored at the Clinic, we’ll contact you each year and ask you to confirm your wishes for the next 12 months. If you wish to continue storage with us there is an annual storage fee.

Egg Freezing: 

Egg freezing is also known as Oocyte cryopreservation. This technique helps women to postpone their pregnancy to a desired timer or date. Women consider this procedure because of medical reasons such as cancer treatment or social reasons such as professional development.

Steps for Egg Freezing : 

Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation: After primary consumption with our fertility experts,  the process begins with stimulating the ovaries. In this step, scanning of follicles is done, and our fertility expert monitors the development of the follicles in the ovary using an ultrasound.

Step 2: Egg Retrieval

The egg retrieval process takes place with general anesthesia in the IVF unit of the Zivia Fertility centre. 

Step 3: Preserving of eggs:

After egg retrieval is done, these eggs are then stored and preserved in our labs enabled with advanced technology. 

Who needs egg freezing?

Egg freezing is recommended for women who are at increased risk of premature loss of eggs. It can be either due to exposure to a surgical procedure, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. Or having a genetic or medical condition that can lead to early loss of eggs, such as Fragile X syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, auto-immune conditions, or endometriosis. Secondly, those who wish to preserve their fertility for social or personal reasons or are donating eggs. 

What happens at the Clinic?

Same as embryo freezing, in egg freezing Cryopreservation technique too, your treatment cycle is exactly the same as it is for IVF. The only difference is that all of your embryos will be frozen at the optimum time – an assessment made by our embryologists – rather than transferred to your womb.

If your eggs are frozen and stored at the Centre, we’ll contact you each year and ask you to confirm your wishes for the next 12 months. If you wish to continue storage with us there is an annual storage fee.

Conclusion:

To understand Cryopreservation better, do visit our official website here

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