As the leader in fertility options, we continually monitor and upgrade our technology to minimize risks to our patients. We thoughtfully employ the most advanced technology and well-tested standard operating procedures to deliver the safest environment for your eggs, embryos and sperm.
In the interest of transparency, we want to share with you some details regarding the redundant safeguards that we employ to keep your precious eggs and embryos safe.
Some key background information:
- Cryopreserved cells are stored in/around liquid nitrogen.
- Liquid nitrogen is the key ingredient to maintain cells at a temperature compatible with cryopreservation: minus 196˚C.
- Liquid nitrogen is extremely stable and effective at maintaining the viability of the eggs and embryos for decades without changes.
- Storage in liquid nitrogen does not require electricity to maintain their temperature.
At the core of our systems is a dedicated team with embryologist, critical to the implementation and execution of these systems.
Core Tank infrastructure to ensure sufficient liquid nitrogen
- Cryotanks: Storage tanks designed around the needs for embryo and egg storage.
- These tanks can hold their temperature at minus 196 degree Celsius,we keep tanks filled and replenished daily with the maximum permittable level of liquid nitrogen.
- All cryotanks are kept filled with liquid nitrogen and replenished daily
- In addition to keeping our tanks full at all times, we maintain backup “filling” tanks.
VITRIFICATION (sperm, ovum and embryo freezing)
- Cyropreservation is used to store semen, eggs and embryos for an indefinite period.
- It is typically effective if men face a possibility of sterilization due to vasectomy, prostate or testicular surgery, radiation or chemotherapy etc.
- At times semen is also frozen prior to IVF as back up, incase of difficulty in semen collection on the day of oocyte retrieval.
- Vitrification is one of the latest advancements in fertility treatment.
- The process refers to the freezing of eggs (also embryos) to store them for an indefinite period.
- Rather, vitrification works by using higher concentrations of cryoprotectants that ensure much faster cooling rates, and without the formation of ice crystals.
- It is useful for women who face the possibility of sterilization in future.
Sperm freezing and storage
Sperm freezing and storage is the procedure whereby sperm cells are frozen to preserve them for future use. Sperm cells have been frozen and thawed successfully for more than 40 years. By using special technology and then keeping sperm in liquid nitrogen at minus 196 degree celsius, it can be stored for many years while maintaining a reasonable quality
Who may benefit from sperm freezing?
- Men who work in high risk occupations
- Men in the military have frozen sperm and completed posthumous use consent forms before
- Deployment in case of their serious injury, or even death when on active service
- Where there is a family history of premature andropause, especially in the man’s father, uncles or paternal grandfather
- Men who are away from home for extended periods of time and whose wives or partners may require fertility treatment during their absence
- Any man whose sperm counts are declining and there is concern that he could become azoospermic.
In a typical IVF or ICSI treatment cycle, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated to produce many eggs. Following fertilisation and embryo culture, the best embryos are selected for embryo transfer. For about 50% of couples, there will also be good embryos which are surplus to those required for embryo transfer. These embryos can be frozen at this point for future use. Embryo freezing (cryopreservation) is a method of preserving the viability of embryos by carefully cooling them to very low temperatures (minus 196 degree celsius). This is carried out in the laboratory using specialised freezing equipment and the embryos can then be safely stored in liquid nitrogen for extended periods.
Why do we freeze embryos?
Embryo freezing gives you more opportunities for a pregnancy for each hormone stimulation cycle and egg collection. If you do not become pregnant in that first cycle, we can transfer another embryo during a frozen embryo transfer cycle.
How does embryo freezing work?
Embryos can be frozen from Day 2 (four cell stage) to Day 5 (Blastocyst). They are placed in cryostoragedevices, and labelled with your name and identification number.
The straws are then placed in goblets, and put into tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, which keeps the temperature at -196° Celsius.
What are the benefits of embryo freezing?
The main benefit of embryo freezing is the option to have frozen embryos thawed and transferred to the woman’s uterus in the future without having to undergo stimulation of the ovaries or egg retrieval. It is also possible that there may be enough frozen embryos for more than one subsequent cycle.
Human oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) is a process in which a woman’s eggs (oocytes) are extracted, frozen and stored. Later, when she is ready to become pregnant, the eggs can be thawed, fertilized, and transferred to the uterus as embryos.