Cryopreservation: ( Freezing of eggs/ sperms/ embryos)
Sperm freezing: with recent advances in technology we can preserve sperms and use them at a later date with excellent survival after thawing.
For whom sperm freezing is indicated??
- Men suffering with cancer (as chemotherapy/ radiotherapy can have a detrimental effect on sperm count and quality)
- Older males: semen quality and sperm concentration decreases as age advances in males. If you are in older adulthood and want to have children later you can preserve your sperms and use them at a later date. The risk of autism and schizophrenia in kids is also more when paternal age is more.
- Males who are staying away from their partners due to their jobs can freeze their sperm so that their partners can undergo fertility treatments with the frozen sperm.
- In azoospermic males in whom sperm was retrieved through surgical procedures
- In males with very low sperm counts
- Donor sperm treatments: donors are screened for viral infections and their sperm is frozen and used after a quarantine period of 6 months. After 6 months donors are screened again for viral infections and if everything is normal this sperm will be used for treatments.
How to freeze your sperm:
You need to get few blood tests done to rule out any viral infections (HIV, HBsAg, anti HCV, VDRL etc). A semen sample is given after a gap of 3 to 5 days ( no ejaculations and no intercourse). After giving the sample your sperm will be frozen and this can be used at a later date.
How many months can we freeze the sperms?
We can freeze your sperms for any duration of time. Quality of sperm does not deteriote with time. This is a very very safe procedure.
Will freezing have a negative impact on the sperms?
As such freezing and thawing will not have any major negative impacts on the quality of sperm. There might be a slight decrease in motility of the sperms after thawing.
This is a form of fertility preservation for females in which eggs are retrieved and frozen.
How is it done?
Females have to undergo IVF procedure to freeze their eggs. Hormonal injections will be given for a certain number of days and when most of the follicles are of good size then these follicles will be aspirated and eggs will be retrieved. This is generally done under general anesthesia. A needle will be inserted through the vagina and eggs follicles will be aspirated. There will be no incisions and sutures and is a relatively safe procedure. Mature eggs will be frozen and used at a later date.
For whom is this indicated?
- Females suffering with cancer: as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can decrease egg reserve
- Females who want to have pregnancy at a later date: as age advances quality and quantity of eggs in a female decreases. So females can preserve their eggs when they are young and can have children later in their life with these frozen eggs.
- Surgery which can cause damage to ovaries
- Females with a risk of premature ovarian insufficiency ( family history of early menopause/ turners syndrome etc)
- Females in whom ovaries should be removed (BRCA1 mutations etc)
- Females with other chronic conditions which can decrease their fertility potential ( endometriosis, ovarian cysts etc)
- Egg donation: egg donors undergo IVF procedure and donate their eggs. These eggs can be frozen and used at a later date or used for fresh ICSI.
What are the Chances of a Successful Pregnancy Using Frozen Oocytes?
Pregnancy rates have been estimated to be between 4-12% per oocyte. The two most important factors which determine the live birth rate are : womans age at the time of egg freezing and the number of mature eggs frozen.
Are there any side effects on the children conceived through frozen oocyte IVF/ICSI cycles?
Available literature has shown that the outcomes with frozen and fresh oocytes is similar with no increased risks of congenital anomalies.
What are the Risks Associated with the Oocyte Cryopreservation Procedure?
Egg Freezing Risks
Risks are similar to those associated with ovarian stimulation for IVF, which include small risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (enlargement of the ovaries and fluid accumulation in the pelvis and abdomen), infection, and bleeding related to the egg retrieval procedure.
How Long Can the Eggs be Stored?
Storing the eggs for longer durations does not appear to have negative effects. However, data are only available for up to 4 years of storage. It must remembered that older maternal age when carrying a pregnancy is associated with higher risks of pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cesarean section. Most clinics have an upper age limit on when these gametes can be used to achieve pregnancy.