Embryos Freezing & Vitrification

Embryo Donation

Overview

The embryo is defined as the early stage of development of a multicellular organism that is reproduced sexually. In simple terms, Embryo is an organism that has not totally developed and is in the previous stage of growth and differentiation. It is further generated with the help of fertilization to the beginning of the third month of pregnancy, especially in humans. After eight months of time, the Embryo takes the form of a fetus.

Cryopreservation or Cryo-conservation is the method of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at a specific temperature so that it can be used for further usage. Normally the Cryopreservation of the Embryo is performed with the help of two different methods that include Slow Freezing and Vitrification.

Everything You Need to Know About Embryos Freezing & Vitrification

Embryo Freezing | Maximum Duration | How Does Vitrification Work | Success Rates

What is Embryo Freezing?

Freezing of Embryo is the process that provides the benefit of storing embryos for later use. An individual can consider the freezing process on eggs that are not yet fertilized. Embryo Freezing is involved in In Vitro Fertilization, where eggs from the woman’s ovary are particularly removed and further combined with sperm in the laboratory for creating the Embryos. Moreover, the generated Embryos are further stored with the help of freezing to later use in the woman’s uterus from pregnancy.

The main motive of freezing is to protect the Embryos for further use. While performing a Freezing the main challenge and difficulty faced by the persons is regarding the liquid present in the cell. When the freezing of cells is performed, there are high chances that several crystals will form in the liquid and will burst the cells. To prevent the cell from bursting the Cryopreservation technique is used by the doctors where the liquid present in the cells is replaced by the Cryopreservation.

The overall freezing of the Embryo can be performed with the help of two different methods. The methods are further described below for your better understanding:

  • Slow Freezing– This freezing method is considered a slow process as the freezing is done at a low temperature and can be highly time-consuming. In addition, the embryos are placed in the sealed tubes to prevent the cells from aging. It also reduces the risk of getting damaged the cells. Moreover, this requires a huge range of expensive machinery.
  • Embryo Vitrification– Vitrification is further another form of Cryopreservation that includes the fast freezing procedure to change the texture of the liquids commonly found in the eggs, embryos, sperms’ to a glass-like state. This is the new technique that uses an ultra-fast cooling technique with a higher concentration of Cryopreservation and further does not cause any harm to the eggs, or embryos.

Related Conditions

What is the maximum duration of Embryo Freezing?

According to research, a frozen embryo can be viable for any length of time. The embryos that are further kept in sealed containers with -321ºF can have no biological changes like aging. Moreover, there are examples of several cases that used the eggs stored for more than 10 years and got successful pregnancy results.

There are several countries that further extend the time length to store an Embryo of a woman. Freezing and storing can be highly expensive as it uses a lot of advanced machinery to store the Embryos. Every clinic has its own rule regarding what will the consequences if a person cannot use their stored or freeze Embryos.

How does Slow Freezing Work?

Slow freezing with 1oC/minute is considered as the appropriate temperature for cooling the human embryos for further use. In this procedure, the freezing of the embryos is controlled slowly in terms of cryoprotectant fluid (“anti-freeze” solution). It is further cooled with a temperature of -196oC and is stored in liquid nitrogen containers commonly known as canisters.

Each individual embryo is properly labeled with name and other information and once the embryos are placed inside the visitubes or colored tubes to place it in the liquid nitrogen cryocans, the labels are further stored in registration. This is performed to avoid any kind of confusion.

Furthermore at the time of thawing the embryos are kept at room temperature so that it can perform a careful dilution of the cryoprotectant fluid to return the embryo to its favored culture medium. After this, with the help of cryodamage, it can be determined whether it is suitable for transplantation or not.

Slow freezing is an old process but this process is avoided to store the eggs because the eggs are larger in size than that of the embryos and contain a higher water content and can be highly fragile. The success rate of Slow Freezing of Embryos can be determined by 50%.

12+ Years of Experience as
Sexologist and Infertility Specialist

12+ Years of Experience as
Sexologist and Infertility Specialist

How does Vitrification work?

To follow the Vitrification the embryologist further performs the following steps:

  • The doctor or embryologist takes the embryos and places them in a bath with a very low concentration of cryoprotectant. The liquid further contains sucrose that helps to draw water out of the organism.
  • In addition, the team of embryologists further places the embryo with a high concentration of the solution. This is performed for a period of fewer than 12 minutes. This process instantly freezes the organisms and also does not create the formation of the ice crystals.
  • This process can be performed in both eggs, and sperms apart from the embryo and can last for a long period of time after the verification. The embryologist quickly performs the process of removing the organism from the solution. Furthermore, the pregnancy is achieved with the help of state-of-art treatment.

Embryo freezing can be enjoyed by the following group of people:

  • People facing genetic problems resulting in the loss of reproduction
  • Persons who have gone through Chemotherapy
  • People who are in the consumption of medications that affects fertility.
  • People who are same-sex Couples, including the LGBTQ+ community.

 

What are the success rates of thawing frozen Embryos?

The success rate of thawing frozen Embryos is relatively high and research also suggests that the woman who uses the Embryo thawing has a high chance of having a healthy baby in their family. According to research and review of 2016, babies with cryopreservation methods do not provide any signal of abnormalities and are healthy and fit from others. Furthermore, some research Trusted Sources also showed that vitrification is much more convenient than Slow freezing and also provides an increased survival chance of the embryos.

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Dr. Ramit Raosaheb Kamate

MBBS ,DNB, DGO, FRM (UK)

Dr. Ramit Kamate is a Reproductive Medicine Consultant and Sexologist with experience of 12+ years. He specialises in Sexual Medicine for male and female, Fertility Treatment, Pre and Post Delivery Care, Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD), Tubectomy/Tubal Ligation, Natural Cycle IVF, MTP.

Dr. Ramit Kamate finished MBBS from B J Medical College, Pune. He pursued Masters’s In Reproductive Medicine from Hamilton University, UK & IBCME Dubai. Completed Fellowship in Cosmetic Gynaecology and Sexual Medicine from USA.

Embryos Freezing & Vitrification

by | Nov 2, 2021

Embryos Freezing & Vitrification

by | Nov 2, 2021

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