Freezing for Fertility
Sperm freezing has been practiced for years in the veterinary field. It has been used in humans since1953. Freezing semen has several uses:
- Freezing sperm helps if the male partner is unable to give a semen sample on the day of the procedure. In such cases, frozen sperm can be taken.
- Multiple samples can be harvested from men suffering from oligospermia so that there is never a shortage of sperm when required.
- It helps in quarantining of donor sperm. After 6 months, if the repeat blood tests for VDRL, HIV, HCV, and HbsAg are negative, it is then used to fertilize ova.
- It is necessary for the preservation of extra- testicular sperm following TESA or PESA.
- It is useful prior to chemotherapy for various cancers, particularly that of the testis. Chemotherapy arrest sperm production & hence sperm freezing serves as a biological insurance.
Due to controlled ovarian stimulation usually, several mature oocytes are produced. Optimally, only two or three embryos are transferred. The remaining embryos are frozen for use at a later date. There are two methods:
- Slow Freezing
In Slow freezing, the cell is cooled very slowly and it may take upto 5 hours till a temperature of -196º Celsius is reached whereas Vitrification is a fast freezing technique, in which the cells become vitrified within minutes by attaining its required temperature i.e. -196 º Celsius. Both the freezing methods are still in use to preserve embryos for later use. But at Reviva Infertility Clinic, We do Vitrification, as it is a superior freezing technique with higher success rates and it has become the keystone of our laboratory.
- Women undergoing IVF/ ICSI may have surplus good quality embryos which can be frozen for future use.
- Women, who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer, may have the option of embryo freezing, provided the tumors are not estrogen dependent.
Research studies have demonstrated that babies born out of frozen embryos are as healthy as those born without freezing. At Reviva Infertility & IVF Clinic, Chandigarh provides the freezing services to the patient who wants to preserve their sample for future use.