One of the greatest advancement in the Science of Human Reproduction is preservation of eggs, sperms and embryos. The cryopreservation of sperm, egg and embryo through freezing is a procedure that has helped several couples to preserve their future ability to conceive. With the help of this procedure, couples diagnosed with cancer and have not yet begun with chemotherapy can opt to preserve their egg or sperm cells, which can be later used for fertilization.
Cryopreservation can be done by two methods – slow rate freezing and vitrification. Slow rate freezing is a labour-intensive procedure where the cellular dehydration happens through equilibrium process. However, Vitrification is a non-equilibrium approach that uses high concentrations of cryoprotectant which solidify the cells rapidly without the formation of any ice crystals. The experts at Southend Fertility & IVF use the advanced cryopreservation techniques along with the modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure for embryo, egg and sperm freezing.
Sperm can be stored for a number of reasons, including:
- To store donated sperm (sperm banking)
- For use by couples due to undergo infertility treatment if the man finds it difficult to ejaculate on demand which may result in their inability to produce a sample on the day of egg collection
- To provide storage after sperm have been surgically removed from the testes
- Before a vasectomy for contraception
- Prior to cancer treatment that may compromise fertility
- As part of surgical retrieval of sperm from epididymis (PESA) or testes (TESA)
Sperm is stored in a similar way to that referred to above for embryo freezing. The inital storage period for sperm is normally 1 year if storage is for back-up for your treatment.
Who should undergo Cryopreservation?
This treatment procedure is best suited for couples with:
- Cancer, but yet to begin Chemotherapy or Radiation therapy
- Other Medical Condition that may affect fertility
- Personal choice to preserve their ability to have children in future