What is Cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation is a process of storing live tissues, cells, and other biological samples like eggs, sperm, and embryos at extremely low temperatures in a deep freezer. Typically, the selection is kept at or below -196°C. However, a cell stops all biological activity and dies at such low temperatures.

Through cryopreservation, cells can withstand freezing and thawing. The cell membrane rupture exists due to ice buildup inside cells. This can be prevented by carefully choosing the freezing medium and managing the freezing rate. Read on to know the process, techniques, and need for cryopreservation.

What is the process of Cryopreservation?

The following are the five steps carried out in the process of cryopreservation:

  1. Harvesting or material selection: It's essential to consider variables like volume, pH, density, morphology, and damage-free status while selecting biological materials.
  2. Cryoprotective agent addition: After harvesting, cryoprotective agents like glycerol, salts, sugars, and glycols are mixed with the samples. It is done to reduce the freezing point and enable a slow cooling rate.
  3. Freezing: Freezing protects the cell from damage or death, usually caused by exposure to cryoprotective agent solutions.
  4. Storage in liquid nitrogen. The samples are then stored in a deep freezer at a temperate of -80 Celcius for almost 5 to 24 hours. After this, they are moved to the storage containers.
  5. Thawing: It is a procedure of warming biological samples to regulate the cooling rate and prevent crystallization-related cell damage.

What are the different techniques of Cryopreservation?

The following are the different techniques of cryopreservation:

1. Freezing sperms

A man can store his sperm for potential childbirth through IVF and other comparable procedures. A sperm sample from a man is required for preservation. If there aren't any sperm, doctors can surgically remove sperm from the testicles. These are maintained in a storage bank until required for various fertility procedures.

2. Freezing eggs

After 35, it gets harder for women to get pregnant. Egg freezing is an effective solution in these circumstances. To conceive children later in life, women, when they are young, can freeze their eggs in labs. Additionally, ladies who need chemotherapy might freeze their eggs before the procedure.

If a woman chooses to freeze her eggs, she will need to take drugs for a few days to stimulate her ovaries and increase the number of eggs she produces. When the eggs are ready, the ovarian follicles are ruptured, removed, and frozen in the lab.

3. Freezing embryos

Eggs are collected and kept in storage to safeguard embryos. During the IVF procedure, the eggs are fertilized with the partner's sperm. The resultant embryos are cultured, enabling maximal cell division. At a fertility center, embryos develop and are kept until they are ready to be transplanted.

When do you need Cryopreservation?

Couples typically prefer cryopreservation for the following reasons.

  1. They do not want to conceive immediately and need a backup plan where they freeze the embryos at a young age and use them to conceive later.
  2. Have a health issue that could have an impact on their fertility. The condition involves gender diversity, autoimmune disorders, and sickle cell anaemia.
  3. They are beginning cancer treatment or any other medical procedure that can affect their ability to conceive. For instance, radiation or chemotherapy can have an impact on fertility.
  4. They choose egg or embryo freezing over IVF for moral concerns.
  5. They are saving money for future IVF treatments they might need to have.

Make an appointment for a consultation at Apollo Fertility, Amritsar, by dialling 1860-500-4424.


Cryopreservation is a safe treatment for preserving sperm, eggs, and embryos. Those who wish to store their samples for future use can do so by Cryopreservation. Although the success rates of the procedure are high, there are chances of birth defects in children. To know more about the procedure, visit the Apollo Fertility Centre, Amritsar, which is well-equipped with cutting-edge technology.

1. How Long Can You Have the Frozen Embryos Stored?

If properly frozen, it is assumed that embryos (in liquid nitrogen) can be kept for any length of time.

2. What is the Success Rate of Embryo Cryopreservation after Thawing?

The success rate of embryos is high following cryopreservation and thawing.

3. Where are embryos stored?

All frozen sperm, eggs, and embryos are kept in liquid nitrogen chambers at a temperature of -196°C.

4. Is embryo Cryopreservation safe?

Despite being a relatively new method of pregnancy treatment, embryo cryopreservation is considered safe. However, a slight risk that the infant will have genetic defects exists.

5. What are the benefits of Cryopreservation?

The benefits of cryopreservation are: 1. One of the effective methods of treating infertility. 2. Very little labour and space are needed. 3. Biological samples can be kept in storage for a long time. 4. Cryopreserving gametes, embryos, and other types of cells can stop genetic drift.

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