Embryo freezing is the procedure of freezing embryos at a very low temperature so that they remain available in future whenever required. The process that involves freezing is called cryopreservation. In cryopreservation, the items are stored at the temperature of liquid nitrogen i.e. -196°C. At this temperature, the cell activities stop and the tissues remain intact.
About the Embryo Freezing
Embryo freezing is the procedure for the preservation of eggs or embryos at a temperature of liquid nitrogen (cryopreservation) to stop all cellular activities and preserve them for future needs. Both fertilized and unfertilized eggs are frozen using this procedure. The first time this procedure successfully took place was in the 1980s. since then, numerous couples or women have stored their embryos or eggs.
The person can either store the embryo for themselves or donate it to others or for medical research. This technique is usually used by someone after IVF or due to any serious disease such as cancer.
How is Embryo Freezing Done?
Freezing an embryo is not an easy task and requires professional skills with special instruments. The major problem faced during it is the presence of water. This water present in the cells on freezing can cause the cell to burst. Thus, the normal freezing method does not apply to it. The doctors use cryopreservation for preserving it without any mishappening.
In cryopreservation, the water of the cell is replaced with any cryoprotectant and then sent for incubation. The doctors can use either a slow or fast (vitrification) freezing method.
As the name suggests, in the slow method the temperature of the embryo is lowered slowly. It reduces the chances of damage to the cells. As it requires a lot of time along with machinery, this method is expensive. On the other hand, the fast method of freezing involves freezing embryos so quickly that the water couldn’t get the time for freezing.
After successful freezing, the material is stored in liquid nitrogen that has a temperature of -196°C.
Who qualifies for Embryo Freezing
Any person who wishes to get pregnant in future can store their embryos. Moreover, a woman who wishes to donate the embryos to others or for research purposes can store them.
A woman with a certain serious disease such as cancer might want to preserve her embryos. It is because there might be chances that the chemotherapies and medication might affect her reproductive health. If someone opted for IVF (In –vitro fertilization) and wants to delay it, then they might store their embryos.
Why Embryo Freezing is conducted
The main aim of freezing embryos is to preserve them for future use. It is also used for training and research purposes.
Benefits of Embryo Freezing
Some of the major benefits or advantages of freezing the embryos are as follows:
- Helps the woman to get pregnant after the treatment of serious diseases like cancer.
- Donated embryos help a lot in research.
- It helps in delaying IVF (if someone wishes to do so).
Risks or Complications in Embryo Freezing
Some of the risks and complications while freezing an embryo are as follows:
- There are certain chances that the embryo might not be able to survive the process.
- The procedure is costly and might not be affordable to everyone.
Embryo freezing is the procedure of storing embryos in liquid nitrogen for future use. the temperature of it will be approximate -196°C and the process is referred to as cryopreservation. At this temperature, almost all the cellular activities will stop and the tissues will remain intact. The woman who is undergoing chemotherapies due to cancer and is at risk of Detroit's reproductive health might want to store embryos. Moreover, women can donate them to someone or for research purposes.In some rare cases, the embryos might not be able to survive the procedure. However, under proper authority, these chances are very rare to happen.
There is a very high success rate of approximately 95% in the case of embryo freezing.
The survival chances of both eggs and embryos are very high. However, if we compare both then freezing embryos have a slightly higher survival percentage than freezing eggs.
Yes, there are chances that the embryos after being frozen can cause delayed implantation as compared to the fresh embryos.
Though the survival chances of embryos after IVF is very high, there are circumstances in which the embryos might not survive and implant after IVF. Even, embryos that look good might not be able to be implanted due to certain defects.
An IVF treatment is best for persons in their mid-20s to 30s. however, with proper medical assistance people of higher age can also get pregnant through IVF without any complications.