The department of Cryopreservation
Started functioning in 2004, while primarily focused on IVF patients to store the surplus embryos and semen of husbands travelling abroad. The current issues related to male and female infertility depicts the impact of environmental and physical changes due to various reasons such as obesity, change in life style and diet, use of chemical substances as preservatives, radiation, use of pesticides and insecticides in agriculture, dumping and burning of garbage leading to air, soil and water pollution, etc. Due to these impacts on physical body, male and female are experiencing various health ailments like cancer, Liver cirrhosis, diabetes, infectious diseases, etc., which leads to infertility due to the usage of chemotherapies or radiotherapies for treatment. Also due to smoking, use of alcohol, narcotic drugs, emotional stress, etc. causes effects of low sperm count in male as well as abnormal oocyte in female.
As cancer treatments
improve, the problems
faced by survivors of cancer
and the complications of cancer therapies become more important. Many
survivors are young and are diagnosed and treated before they have
children. Cancer and its treatment can significantly affect the chance
of a patient having a child in the future.
Prasad Infertility solutions therefore realize how important it is that all patients are able to discuss the effects of treatment with a fertility expert and explore whether they are able to store eggs, sperm or embryos before their cancer treatment, which could be used to help them have their own biological child in the future.
Cancer and Infertility are two devastating diagnoses simultaneously affecting young men and women. Having to face both diagnoses can cause huge distress and therefore all patients will be offered an appointment to see one of our counselors if they wish to discuss fertility preservation.
Cryopreservation is a method in which the male (sperm) and female (oocyte) gametes can be preserved at low temperature of -196oC in Liquid Nitrogen for long periods and can be retrieved when it is need for pregnancy planning.
- • Prasad Infertility solutions has stored sperm for men and oocyte as well as embryos for couples going through infertility treatments and those facing cancer treatments.
- • Our Fertility Preservation service for sperms, oocytes and embryos started in 2004.
- • We suggest the patients planning cancer therapies to approach atleast a week prior to the actual cancer treatment.
- • We offer patient centric cryo freezing methods to eligible patients. We continue to work with Cancer specialists to ensure that after completing treatment, the patient can retrieve the frozen sample for pregnancy planning.
Cryopreservation of Testicular tissue
- • Testicular tissue cryopreservation is an option for prepubertal patients who are not producing sperm and therefore are unable to preserve a semen sample.
- • Many numbers of patients have cryopreserved their testicular tissue
- • Spermatogenic recovery or pregnancies from cryopreserved testicular tissues have now been reported with successful results.
- • However, there are several methods in the research pipeline suggesting that preserved testicular tissue or cells even after many years can be used to restore fertility and/or produce sperm.
- • It is reasonable to preserve testicular tissue for young patients who are at high risk for infertility and have no other options to preserve their fertility.
Ovarian Cortical Strips
- Cryopreservation of ovarian tissue is of interest to women
- • Who want fertility preservation due to social obligation such as delaying marriage, or
- • Whose reproductive potential is threatened by cancer therapy, for example in hematologic malignancies or breast cancer.
- • It can be performed on prepubertal girls at risk for premature ovarian failure
- • This procedure is as feasible and safe as comparable operative procedures in children.
Procedures Involved in Cryopreservation of Ovarian Tissue
- • Take a part of the ovary and carry out slow freezing before storing it in liquid nitrogen whilst therapy is undertaken.
- • Tissue can then be thawed and implanted near the fallopian, either orthotopic (on the natural location) or heterotopic (on the abdominal wall), where it starts to produce new eggs, allowing normal conception to take place through the eggs retrieved.
- • Strips of cortical ovarian tissue can also be cryopreserved, but it must be re-implanted into the body to allow the encapsulated immature follicles to complete their maturation.
Oocyte (egg) freezing
- • Women may attempt to ‘freeze’ eggs/oocyte for future use, before they undergo treatment such as chemotherapy, which may affect their eggs.
- • Oocytes (eggs) are stimulated to develop within the ovaries by daily administration of hormone injections. Following this, the eggs are removed from the ovaries under ultrasound control.
- • The eggs removed are then frozen very rapidly using the technique of vitrification.
- • Eggs can be stored for up to 10 years.
- • Vitrification has been shown to be the most effective way of freezing human eggs with more than 90% of vitrified eggs surviving after thawing.
- • For women under the age of 35 years, approximately 1 in 3 cycles of egg freezing will result in an ongoing pregnancy.
- • The number of pregnancies depends on the number of eggs stored, with each egg having approximately a 5% chance of leading to pregnancy in women under 35 years. The chance of a pregnancy following a cycle of egg freezing reduces as women age.
- • Sperm cryopreservation or sperm freezing is a method for men to preserve their sperm and store it in a bank so it can be used in the future.
- • Men who are frequent travelers can utilize this wonderful technology to store their sperm and retrieved when the wife is ovulating.
- • For couples who travel to our centre for fertility treatment, the sperm cryopreservation is a practical way to plan their travel.
- • Many medical treatments can damage sperm quality, including several types of cancer treatment like chemotherapy and radiation. Some men choose to freeze their sperm before getting medical treatment.
Procedure for Sperm Freezing
- • The male partner based on the reference of Fertility expert will be advice to maintain an absence of sexual intercourse or masturbation for a period of 3 to 5 days prior to sperm freezing.
- • The semen sample is collected by masturbation method in a sterile container and kept in 37oC warm water bath for liquefaction of semen.
- • The liquefied semen is mixed in 1:1 ration in freezing medium and this allows your sperm to survive the freezing and storage
- • Semen samples are slowly frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors. Once the samples have been frozen, they are placed in special containers where they are stored in the liquid nitrogen until they are needed.
- • Each ejaculate can yield between one to three 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 your semen sample in a storage facility.
Test Thaw Procedure
- • The survival rate of sperm after cryopreservation can vary widely.
- • Depending on the amount of sperm you have put into a bank, we recommend that one of the cryovials be thawed so we can examine how successfully your semen can be stored and thawed.
Embryo cryopreservation (Freezing)
- • If a woman is in a stable relationship, the couple may wish to freeze embryos instead of eggs.
- • The woman undergoes a cycle of ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval as in conventional IVF. On the day of egg collection, the male partner is asked to provide a fresh sample of semen, produced on site in the Andrology Department.
- • All mature eggs retrieved are injected with a single sperm using a technique known as ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection). On average, about 50-60% fertilizes and form embryos.
- • The laboratory will ring you the morning after egg collection to tell you how many eggs fertilized.
- • The embryos at the 6 to 8 cell stage will be vitrified for fertility preservation.
- • Embryo freezing is a relatively successful procedure and follow-up studies on babies born are reassuring.
- • Approximately 1 in 3 couples will conceive following embryo freezing if the woman is under 35 years of age.
- • Embryo storage should only be carried out for couples in a stable relationship as, if the couple separates, the male partner may withdraw his consent for continued storage and treatment. As a result, the embryos would have to perish.
Cryopreservation experience at Prasad Infertility solutions
The 1st successful frozen embryo transfer was performed in 2005, which was a blastocyst(day 5 embryo). Interestingly, it was a single embryo from the couple, frozen for specific reasons. The woman came back after 3 months and had the single frozen thawed embryo transfer which resulted in a healthy male baby. The family, so exhilarated till date, celebrate every birthday of the child with Dr Suma Prasad.