Dr. Sunita TandulwadkarChief, IVF and Endoscopy Centre, Ruby Hall Clinic Dr. Vineeta Kharb Fellow in Reproductive Medicine, Ruby Hall Clinic Dr. Nirzari Mangeshikar DNB OBGY (1st Year), Ruby Hall Clinic Can we freeze time? We all know the answer to this question is 'NO'. Time does not wait for anyone. But 'YES', we can freeze time before birth. In IVF, with advances in science and technology, it is possible to freeze life! Mrs. Jain*(name changed) underwent IVF treatment with us in 2010, when we prepared her embryos and froze them as her husband was going abroad for 2 years. Technology allows us to not only cater to patients medical needs, but also their emotional needs as she wanted her husband by her side during the entire process. Her husband came back in 2012 and then two embryos were transferred in her, and to her luck they both implanted. She had a successful twin pregnancy and delivered twins on 13th February 2013. The 2 day old babies with us today would have been 2 years old, had the Jains chosen not to freeze their embryos ! We can perform freezing of gametes (eggs and sperm) or embryos. It is the process of cryopreservation in which the embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. Embryos and sperms do not deteriorate much even when stored for long in Liquid Nitrogen. Sperm preservation is done in patients for various reasons, patients with cancer planned for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, those who find it difficult to produce sample repeatedly, patients who come from out of town whose sample may be difficult to obtain later. Similarly, patients who work away from home for extended period may wish to freeze their sperm for their wives to use in their absence. Embryo freezing is also one of the active programmes run in our centre. Spare excellent quality embryos are always frozen. If couple conceives in very first attempt, they can come after 2-3 years, to transfer frozen embryos for yet another baby. There is increasing trend of oocyte freezing among unmarried girls in their thirties who wish to pursue their career and delay the marriage. So yes, advances in science and technology do sometimes help us to freeze time before birth.
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