What is Cryopreservation
The word Cryopreservation has been derived from the Greek word Kryos meaning cold. As the word itself suggests, Cryopreservation is the process of preservation biological tissues or cells in extreme cold conditions.
Cryopreservation is a method of preserving biological tissue or cells at extremely low temperatures. Although Cryopreservation is used in many functions, but we, at the New Life India Infertility Clinic, use it to preserve:
In a similar process known as Cryogenics, dead bodies are preserved in the hope of enlivening them in future.
In Cryopreservation process, tissues are frozen, generally in liquid nitrogen, in extremely cold temperature of (-) 100 degree Celsius.
At these cold temperatures, tissues are sealed in a status similar to that of suspended liveliness. The natural decaying process slows down in cold conditions simply because the metabolic procedures of genetic tissues slow down spectacularly in the extreme cold state.
Cryopreservation, in fact, is a complex procedure against what is perceived by laymen. It is not just preserving the tissues by simply freezing them. During the process of freezing of tissues, liquids tend to solidify and expand. This expansion usually results in the destruction of cells. And, all benefits of freezing these biological tissues get negated.
Cryopreservation, as a rule, entails replacing the fluid in the tissue with an anti-freeze liquid. This liquid helps survival in the extreme cold temperatures.
Why Sperm Cryopreservation?
Sperm Cryopreservation is a method of freezing sperm cells in a bank for future use.
- Many fertility clinics accept sperm donations to their sperm banks to treat infertility.
- Sometimes, many men undergoing cancer or other severe medical therapies choose to freeze their sperms to prevent any damage to their sperm quality.
There is no authentic proof about how long frozen sperm can remain valuable. However, sperms using Cryopreservation have been successful in pregnancies even after twenty or more years. Sperm freezing allows the sperm to be used in the future in fertility treatments, such as intra uterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Why Egg Cryopreservation?
Egg Cell is a female immature ovum or gametocyte or oocyte involved in reproduction and Cryopreservation, as explained above, is a method of freezing Oocyte with the aim of using it in future.
In general, following are types of women who go in Egg Cryopreservation.
- The first is similar to that of men wanting Sperm Cryopreservation because of undergoing severe cancer and other medical therapies;
- The second category of women wanting Egg Cryopreservation is of those undergoing treatment with Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ART). They get their Eggs Cryopreserved for future use in case of failure of any of IVF process. They refuse to freeze their Embryos for religious or personal reasons;
- The third segment of women is those who do not have a partner as yet or for medical reasons do not want to get pregnant. This third segment of women is ageing and apprehends that the quality of their egg will deteriorate by the time they decide to have a child at a later age;
- The fourth category of women is those who are career-oriented and consider child bearing an obstruction in their career. In such cases, these women get their eggs Cryopreserved for future use at an opportune stage of their career;
- The fifth category of women is those who have a genetic history of early menopause. They can use the frozen eggs when they cease producing eggs;
- Almost all fertility clinics have been accepting egg donations and the donated eggs are Cryopreserved for treating infertility of their patients.
Why Embryo Cryopreservation?
Embryo cryopreservation is valuable for those:
- Who could not conceive in one In Vitro Fertilization cycle and the extra embryos were Cryopreserved in any such eventuality. These patients do not have to go through the repeat of full IVF cycle;
- Who had a pregnancy but want to have more than one child;
- Some women prefer donating their spare oocytes or embryos resulting from fertility treatments to another woman or couple.
- As in the case of sperms and eggs, clinics these days accept embyo donations also.