Cryopreservation of embryos is a process of freezing live embryos at subzero temperatures. The process is quite fascinating and merits further insights.
Cryopreservation is done on day 1-3 embryos which are in dividing or cleavage stage. It can also be done on day 5 embryos in blastocyst stage. These frozen embryos can be reused for future embryo transfers with success rates comparable with fresh embryo transfers.
HOW IS IT DONE
Embryos made by in-vitro fertilization or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection process (IVF/ICSI) are assessed for their quality on day 3 or day 5. As the process of cryopreservation is stressful for embryos, only good quality embryos are chosen for cryopreservation.
Cryopreservation is achieved by sequentially incubating the embryos in increasing concentrations of cryoprotectants. The cryoprotectant draws water out of the embryo and itself enters the cell by osmosis. This step is very crucial to prevent rupture of embryos during freezing. In the final stage, which is measured in seconds, the embryo is placed in highly concentrated cryoprotectant solution and is quickly loaded into a straw. The straw is then sealed and plunged immediately into liquid nitrogen. The whole process is called vitrification which has replaced older slow freezing method of cryopreservation of embryos.
Once frozen, embryos can be stored and reused for as long as 10-12 years. Liquid nitrogen cryocans containing embryos are monitored on day to day basis for optimal storage conditions.
Cryopreservation is a highly sophisticated technique in the field of ART which requires excellent laboratory facilities with skilled embryologist. Ruby hall clinic IVF department, under eminent Dr.Sunita Tandulwadkar and her team of expert embryologists have been carrying out cryopreservation of embryos over 15 years with excellent results. Ruby hall clinic is Pune’s first nationally accredited hospital with a dedicated centre for infertility and endoscopy. Specialized procedures like cryopreservation of embryos are carried out by highly qualified embryologists with updated, international standard, state-of-the-art instruments. Through her years of experience, rich knowledge and skills in the field of infertility, Dr.Tandulwadkar has been ray of light for many childless couples who have realized their dreams of having a child.
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