Cryopreservation is the freezing of biological matter to preserve it for future use, and is utilized as a method of fertility preservation. It involves cooling and storing of Sperms, Eggs and Embryos at very low temperatures to maintain their viability.
A woman’s eggs, a man’s sperm, or a fertilized embryo are all capable of being cryopreserved. When the woman or couple is ready, the eggs or the embryo, as the case may be, are thawed (Warmed)fertilized, and transferred to the uterus.
This procedure allows an individual or a couple to protect their biological reproductive material at a time it is healthiest, before age or health conditions decrease their quality or quantity. Once the materials are preserved, they may be used in future in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to achieve a pregnancy.
Scientifically theses eggs and embryos can be frozen for multiple years without any detrimental effect on them. However, the ICMR guidelines suggest that they can be frozen for up to 5 years.
A couple may opt for Vitrification for any one of the following reasons:
If a patient has embryos vitrified at the clinic. They do not need to undergo egg retrieval. They can thaw the embryo and get a transfer done. Only medications to support the pregnancy need to be taken
Oocyte vitrification is done in the following cases:
Vitrification is done by washing the oocytes or embryos in media within a stipulated time, once the washing is completed the embryo or eggs are loaded on a loading device and submerged immediately into liquid nitrogen. They are stored in liquid nitrogen at all times (-196c)
How many embryos or oocytes can be frozen on one straw?
The number of embryos depends on the stage of their development.
Essentials for a good vitrification program
However, you need to be aware that sometimes even though all the precaution is taken the embryos may not survive. Embryo survival rate after vitrification is 96%
There is currently no evidence that cryopreservation negatively impacts the outcome of the child.