Cryopreservation is the process of fertility preservation by freezing and storage of eggs, embryos, sperm or tissues at below-zero temperatures for using it at a later stage.
Following are the steps involved in cryopreservation –
- Selection of material – The selection of material means what matter is to be preserved. It can be an egg, embryo, sperm or tissue.
- Adding cryoprotective agents – Cryoprotective agents are chemicals in fluid form added to the material to protect the material from damage.
- Freezing – It is cooling the matter to a point where the biological activity in its cell ceases to perform and thus, can be stored indefinitely.
- Storage – The frozen material is stored in liquid nitrogen for longevity.
- Thawing – The material stored is retrieved back through the initial process of warming.
- Washing and separation of preserving agent from the material.
- After washing and separation, the material is checked for its viability.
- The last step is that they are implanted into the womb after fertilization if needed.
Who qualifies for Cryopreservation?
Below mentioned category of people who are the likely candidates for this process -
- If you have planned to go through a cancer treatment process which might affect your fertility.
- If you are bearing from a non-killer disease but its treatment may affect your fertility.
- If you have a genetic disease which might affect your fertility in the future.
- If you are a female who has decided to undergo a surgical procedure that might affect your ovarian tissue.
- Transgender who is planning to start hormone therapy or is planning to undergo genital reconstructive surgery.
- If you are a female who has decided to delay having a child till achieving a career objective or various other reasons.
- If your jobs work nature might affect your fertility.
- If you are a male who has chosen vasectomy as a contraceptive alternative.
- If you are in armed forces.
- For the conduction of medical research on collected samples
Why is it conducted?
This process is conducted to give an alternative to couples to have their biological child; who due to various reasons unable to conceive through normal function and also to preserve fertility for later use.
What are the benefits associated with Cryopreservation?
The only major gain is that you have the possibility and close to success surety of having your biological child even after the risk of losing your fertility.
Risks and Complication associated with Cryopreservation
Below are the risks and complications of this process –
- Intake of enhancement medications may result in the Imbalance of hormones in ht e body.
- There are chances of multiple births or premature birth or the birth of a child with low weight.
- There are chances of failure of the process which failed to conceive.
- Loss of preserving material during storage, retrieval or processing before implantation.
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This process has changed the concept and functioning of fertility by providing a strong, reliable and implementable alternative to those who cannot or wish to conceive later in life. All ARTs are based on this process and are also successful. The fertility preservation concept is based on the method and technique of this process.
You can use this process by either opting for embryo freezing or egg freezing.
Yes, the risk involved in storage is damage to the preserving material due to mishandling or thawing.
It is done through four different methods depending on the material and duration of storage. They are – Slow freezing and vitrification.
It protects and preserves the material from damage over some time.
This process is used in laboratories for research in the field of science and medicine.