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  • Cryopreservation is the method of freezing and long-term preservation of biological items in the liquid nitrogen with the further renovation of their functions after the thawing. This method is recognized to be safe for the biological material. Modern medicine applies cryopreservation for long-term storage of the human reproductive cells and tissues.

    Nowadays, the following types of cryoconservation are applied in the reproductive medicine:

    • embryo cryopreservation;
    • oocyte (egg) cryoconservation;
    • sperm cryopreservation.

    What are the benefits of cryopreservation?

    Cryoconservation enables long-term storage of biological material with good quality and its future use. The IVF protocol states that the use of cryo-embryos considerably increases the efficiency of female infertility treatment.

    Method of embryo cryoconservation

    Embryos are frozen and stored in the liquid nitrogen (-196°С). Since the temperature is low, biochemical processes in a cell stop, and thus they may be stored for a long time. In future, they can be used to achieve pregnancy with IVF method. In a full IVF cycle, it is possible to get a big number of embryos, and a part of them may be frozen for further use. Cryoconservation poses no threat to the embryo or the health of the future child.

    Cryoconservation is performed in the following cases:

    • If woman experiences any complications during the IVF, her uterine lining isn’t receptive enough or due to the doctor’s recommendation embryos can be vitrified and stored until the right moment.There were more embryos than is needed for one implantation.
    • It is worth mentioning that cryoconservation has the following advantages: firstly, a woman gets one more chance, secondly, ovarian stimulation and embryo transfer are not performed simultaneously and in such way the stress for a body is lower.
    • It is also important that the children born from cryopreserved embryos are absolutely the same as other children.

    Oocyte cryoconservation

    Method of oocyte cryoconservation is used to freeze female reproductive cells for long term and use them in future. Female reproductive cells are sensitive to freezing, that is why it is necessary to consult a doctor before performing this procedure.

    Oocyte cryoconservation is recommended in the following cases:

    • Eggs are frozen before removal or depletion of ovaries;
    • Oncofertility(oncology) (in this case, cryo is recommended before chemotherapy or radiological therapy to let a woman to have a child of her own after achieving a sustained remission);
    • A woman plans to postpone her pregnancy for some time or some reasons and oocyte cryoconservation is one of the methods to preserve the reproductive function.

    Sperm cryoconservation

    Sperm cryoconservation is the method to freeze the biological material to use it in the programs applying assisted reproductive technologies. Sperm cryoconservation is recommended in the following cases:

    • Planned IVF, intrauterine insemination and the man can’t be there on the day of the egg collection (for example, due to a business trip or priority travel);
    • Oncofertility – if a man has a cancer and will take a course of chemo or radiation therapy;
      A man has a job associated with a risk to his life.

    Those are the reasons why storage of biological material may be an important and wise decision. If you are interested in this option, contact the professionals in our clinic to get a comprehensive answer to all your questions.