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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Cryopreservation of Embryos, Eggs, and Sperm

By Michael Vermesh on December 20, 2012

Cryopreservation of Embryos, Eggs, and SpermThere are many different issues that individuals and couples may face when it comes to starting a family of their own. Sometimes it requires the help a trained doctor to finally have a child. There is no shame in this, and the entire team at our Los Angeles fertility center feels that the services we provide really helps people achieve the happiness that they've been striving for over the years. One option that may be especially helpful to patients is cryopreservation. Since many people are not clear as to what cryopreservation involves, we'd like to take a few minutes to explore the process right now.

What is cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation refers to the freezing of biological material at subzero temperatures. Usually this means -196° C (-321° F). Doing so will preserve the biological material by stopping normal cell processes. It's a process of preservation that is essential to a number of the services at our infertility clinic in Los Angeles.

Why is cryopreservation performed?

We use cryopreservation at our Los Angeles IVF facility in order to preserve sperm, eggs, and embryos from patients. These materials can be used at a later time, an essential part of the sperm donation and egg donation process. Couples or individuals who are fertile can also store their own eggs or sperm for use later in life.

Ideal Candidates for Cryopreservation

Ideal candidates for cryopreservation are people who would like to save their egg or sperm for use at a later time. For example, if a man is going to undergo a vasectomy but would like to father children one day, his sperm can be preserved through cryopreservation. Similarly, a woman who is going to undergo a tubal ligation can preserve her eggs through cryopreservation if she so desires. Since age affects the quality and viability of a woman's eggs and hence the health of the child, some women decide to preserve some of their eggs through cryopreservation at an early age in case they decide to have children later in life.

In addition, cryopreservation is essential for egg freezing when women decide to donate their eggs or sperm freezing when men decide to donate their own sperm.

The Cryopreservation Procedure

Essentially, cryopreservation first involves harvesting/collecting the biological matter. The egg donation/egg harvesting process is more involved, and will require the use of fertility drugs to promote ovulation. Once the biological material is collected, it is mixed with a special freezing medium in a storage container. This freezing medium will allow the egg or sperm to survive the freezing process without any damage to the cells. This container is then stored at very low temperatures until the egg or sperm needs to be thawed out.

Other Considerations for Fertility Treatment

Cryopreservation is not a solution in itself, but it can be essential for those looking to start a family of their own. It can be used with the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process or with the surrogacy process if needed. During your visit, we will be more than happy to go over all these matters in greater detail.

Learn More About Fertility Treatment Options

For more information about cryopreservation and other options for fertility treatment, be sure to contact our Los Angeles fertility treatment center today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you start the family that you have always dreamed about having.

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