Cryo-freezing is the name given to the combination of the following three processes –
Embryo Cryo Preservation, Sperm Cryopreservation, Frozen Embryo transfer
We all know that the process of IVF leads to the production of 10-15 eggs. All the eggs have the potential to develop into embryos. A single cycle of IVF usually utilizes only one or two embryos. The remaining embryos can be preserved for future use or donation. These embryos are preserved by freezing. This technique is called cryofreezing. Cryo-freezing in India is readily available at many clinics.
The utility of Embryo Cryo Preservation
Cryopreservation can be used in the following situations –
1. All IVF cycles which have spare embryos of good quality can use cryofreezing for the benefit of the patients.
2. If the embryo transfer gets canceled due to unavoidable circumstances, the embryos can be frozen.
3. People are opting for elective freezing as they show equal or better results.
4. It is a good option when immediate pregnancy is not possible due to the presence of certain medical conditions or social reasons.
Who is not eligible for embryo-cryofreezing?
Although it is not prohibited for anyone , but couples with hepatitis infection may be denied due to the risk of infection.
Main steps of Embryo Cryo Preservation
Step-1 :- The good quality embryos are separated after the embryo transfer processes.
Step-2 :-The consent is taken from both the partners regarding the same.
Step-3 :- The embryos are kept in protective solutions.
Step-4 :-The embryos are loaded in freezing straws.
Step-5 :- These embryos are cooled slowly at a temperature of -80-degree c. The temperature is then plunged to -180 degree C by using liquid nitrogen. The embryos may be directly plunged to the temperature of -180 degree C. The latter method is called vitrification.
Step-6 :- All the details related to the embryos are kept in a recorded form.
Main steps of Sperm Cryopreservation
Step-1:- consent is taken from the patient.
Step-2:- Chances of infection and illness are ruled out by screening.
Step-3 :- Semen collection is done.
Step-4:- Semen is made ready for preservation by mixing it with protection solutions.
Step-5:- The mixed sperm mixture is loaded into freezing straws.
Step-6:- The next two steps are the same as in egg freezing .
Step-7 :- Thawing is done as and when semen is required.
Sperm Cryopreservation means freezing the semen for use in the future. The sperms are preserved in this technique. Generally, donated semen is kept for future use in IVF treatment and IUI cycles. It can also be used for fertility preservation before chemotherapy if the patient is undergoing cancer treatment.
Frozen Embryo transfer
Frozen Embryo transfer means the transfer of the cryopreserved embryos to the woman’s uterus on a specific date during an IVF cycle
Main steps for Frozen Embryo transfer
The patient is given hormonal medicines for the development of the endometrium. Some people might do it according to the natural cycle also.
Serial ultrasound is carried out to ascertain the quality of the endometrium . The date of the transfer is decided according to the status.
The Frozen embryos are thawed on the day the transfer is scheduled and the quality of embryos is checked.
High-quality embryos are selected for transfer to the uterus using the guidance of ultrasound.