Cryopreservation means preserving in a frozen condition. The best known cryopreservation is for semen. Cryopreservation or cryoconservation is a process where cells, whole tissues, or any other substances susceptible to damage are preserved by cooling to sub-zero temperatures. At low enough temperatures, any enzymatic or chemical activity which might cause damage to the material in question is effectively stopped. Cryopreservation has relied on coating the material to be frozen with a class of molecules termed cryoprotectant. ACME fertility we strictly adhere to the norms and work to excel in all aspects keeping patient’s safety and future implications on priority.
Preservation of sperm has its own significance in IVF. In some situations semen freezing becomes absolute necessity. E.g. male partner is not available at the time of Ovum Pick up or female partner is coming from out of country, in those males where sperm count is very low or males having ejaculatory dysfunction or those undergoing chemotherapy in near future etc. in such cases their semen can be effectively frozen and used for IVF.
At ACME fertility center we have facility for sperm cryopreservation, in our andrology section, here you can preserve your sperms till the time you want, as per need or indication at very reasonable charges.
ust as each person is unique, so is the success of the freezing/thawing process for each sperm sample. For each semen sample we determine the semen volume, sperm count (concentration), and percent motility (number of sperm that swim). We use a special solution (cryoprotectant) to protect the sperm from freezing conditions and place it into distinctive containers (cryovials) for freezing. Depending on the size and the quality of the sample, we will use one or more vials per sample. (Each vial can hold up to 1.8 ml). Each vial is labeled with your name, the freeze date and a unique vial number. The vials are slowly cooled, then frozen and stored in our liquid nitrogen tanks. Following freezing of the first sample, a small volume of semen is thawed to determine how well the freezing process worked and the number of motile sperm remaining per vial.
After a semen sample has been collected, it is placed on a warming block maintained at 37°C, to liquefy. At this time, the semen sample is mixed in a 1:1 ratio with a freezing medium that allows the sperm to survive the freezing and storage process. The semen and freezing medium mixture is divided up into one milliliter portions and placed in special containers called cryovials. The freezing medium used contains cyroprotectants. Cryoprotectants are chemicals that help remove water from the cells being frozen. If the water is not removed from the sperm, ice crystals will form inside of the cell and break up it up, resulting in cell death.
Semen samples are slowly frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors. Once the samples have been frozen in the liquid nitrogen vapors, they are placed in special containers where they are stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are needed. There is a considerable amount of variability, but each ejaculate typically yields from one to six vials. Each vial of a patient’s semen sample is labeled with the patient’s name, the date, and a unique number recorded on the side. This information will be used to catalog the semen sample into the storage facility.
If you choose to have your sperm frozen, you can use your sperm at a later date to get pregnant. This would work either through intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). When we thaw the sperm sample, experts in our lab are able to analyze the motility (ability to move) and mobility of the sperm through a “test thaw.” If the sperm has been negatively affected by freezing/thawing, the rate of conception through IUI may be lower. When we identify poor sperm characteristics, or when very few frozen sperm samples are available, IVF may be a better choice. In general, the IVF success rate is not affected by using cryopreserved semen.
In any event, when the time comes, you will always have the opportunity to discuss options with one of our specialists. We will help you determine the best options for achieving a pregnancy using your frozen samples.
When it’s time to decide how many samples to freeze, you will work with your doctor and discuss:
1. Semen quality.
2. Conception rates
3. Current technology.
4. Anticipated sample need.
5. Time constraints.
Regardless of how many samples are frozen, sperm cryopreservation does not guarantee future reproductive success. However, the goal is always to preserve a reasonable chance at producing a pregnancy.
We recommend that enough samples are frozen (cryobanked) to provide thawed sperm for at least four intrauterine inseminations IUIs. And that each of these contain at least 10-20 million motile sperm each. The number of samples needed to achieve this standard is totally dependent on the sperm count and motility of each ejaculate. A typical man can achieve this level by freezing two semen samples. If your sample does not meet this standard, you may still effectively use IVF. It is possible, that you may not have enough time to freeze multiple samples before undergoing their medical treatments. Our lab can provide the cryopreservation data to your doctor. We will indicate whether additional freezing is recommended.
As far as we know, the viability of cryopreserved sperm may be kept forever. This is due to the freezing technique and because the semen is stored at such a low temperature (-196 C). Samples stored more than 20 years have been used to create successful pregnancies and healthy babies.