Cryopreservation is a complex yet careful procedure of freezing reproductive cells (gametes). The cells are stored in liquid nitrogen, where the temperature is slowly lowered to -190 degrees by a computer system. The cells are stored in what is termed a “cold sleep”, enabling the cells to 59 be viable for several years. There is no evidence that freezing these cells increases the risk of child disabilities or genetic disorders.
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- Freezing fertilised eggs helps to shorten treatment time Artificial insemination frequently results in the production of more fertilised eggs than are needed for immediate transfer. Surplus eggs can be prepared for cryopreservation the day after they have been collected, once their possibility for successful fertilisation has been assessed. This treatment opens up the possibility of performing an embryo transfer in subsequent cycles. This means that the patient does not have to go through further hormonal stimulation, nor the surgical procedure of egg collection. However, not all eggs survive freezing and thawing. On average, one in three dies upon thawing. Nevertheless, cryopreservation can be confirmed as very successful - survival rates for eggs and embryos are approximately 90%.
- Freezing sperm when the ovulation date is inconvenient Sperm taken from a semen sample can also be frozen for a longer period of time. If the (male) partner’s work situation does not allow for a sperm sample to be delivered at short notice, directly before insemination (artificial or natural) in the practice, then this treatment can be of great help to a couple wishing to have a child. In the case of a severely reduced sperm count, it is worth freezing several “stock” sperm samples in order to have sufficient sperm available on the day of artificial insemination.
- Freezing of testicular tissue to prevent further surgery The freezing of testicular tissue, for example after a TESE (Testicular Sperm Extraction) is now a medical routine. If this procedure is necessary, we advise our patients in close consultation with the urologist carrying out the procedure.