Cryopreservation of Eggs, Sperm & Embryos

Cryopreservation is a process in which eggs, sperm or embryos are frozen and preserved in stable, long-term storage, in order to be easily recovered and used to help couples conceive at a later time. Cryopreservation of sperm is a routine procedure in which semen samples are collected and frozen, then thawed and prepared as fresh semen samples. For egg freezing, the ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce a number of eggs, which are then frozen. Then, when the woman wishes to become pregnant, the eggs are thawed and fertilized for reimplantation. Embryos, on the other hand, are often frozen following IVF or ICSI procedures if they are of good quality, and can be used at a later date if the initial treatment fails.

egg-sperm-embryo-cryopreservationFreezing eggs may be a beneficial option for a variety of women, although there are two main groups of women who typically opt for cryopreservation: those who have been diagnosed with a medical condition whereby the necessary treatment may render them unable to produce viable eggs, and those who have delayed childbearing for another reason and would like to save eggs now in order to have a chance at pregnancy at a later time. Similar benefits apply to cryopreservation of sperm – such as in cases where men have poor sperm counts or if they will be traveling on the date of artificial insemination – and freezing embryos provides the opportunity of future use without the need for another egg collection.

Doctors have been successfully freezing sperm and embryos for decades with the purpose of fertility preservation or donation. While cryopreservation of eggs has not been as successful historically, advances in freezing techniques are rapidly making this method of fertility extension more popular. By freezing eggs, sperm and embryos, our cryopreservation professionals at GREFI can help couples in Puerto Rico who may otherwise have a difficult time conceiving start a family when they are ready.

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