Monday, 2 April 2018

Embryo Cryopreservation For IVF Procedure

In the advanced Embryo Cryopreservation technique, the sperms and embryos are frozen and thawed for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cycles. As the frozen embryos are already available through this technique, a woman need not undergo fertility drug stimulation in order to have an embryo to transfer at the infertility treatment. When sperm is collected manually or by microsurgery, and the same is frozen for successive IVF cycles, so that any additional surgery may be avoided.

Embryo cryopreservation process:

A cell mostly contains water. When freezing the embryos, the ice is formed in and between the cells which are the main concern. Ice crystals have the ability to hurt the cell wall, harm the tiny structures inside the cell. The main goal of the freezing process is to protect the embryo. With the help of special fluids called cryoprotective agents (CPAs) protection of embryo is carried. It acts as “anti-freeze” for cells.

Slow programmable freezing and vitrification are the two methods used to freeze and preserve embryos.
  • Slow programmable freezing
The embryos are frozen slowly in stages. The cryoprotective agents are added to the embryos to increase the strength for 10-20 minutes. Then, the embryos are gradually cooled for two hours using a machine that lowers the temperature minute by minute. The frozen embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen at -196.1° Celsius.
  • Vitrification
It is a fast freezing technique that uses cryoprotective agents at a higher strength. In this method, the embryos are mixed with the CPAs. The strong CPAs could hurt the cell. In order to prevent any damage, the embryos are quickly placed into the liquid nitrogen medium. In this process, the embryos are changed into a solid state. In this state, no ice formation happens.

Duration of Embryo preservation

Once the embryos are frozen, they are stored in a liquid nitrogen freezer. Embryos can be frozen in the liquid nitrogen medium for years together. However, some countries follow time limits to store the embryos in the frozen condition. Within 1-6 days after the embryo formation, it is frozen.

ARC and AIIM together provides awareness programs for childless people and public. Attend these programs to know more about infertility, it's causes, symptoms and treatment options.
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