Cryopreservation refers to the freezing and storage of a living organism at an ultra-low-temperature so it may be restored to its living state at a later time. Recent studies show that cryopreservation of embryos or sperm has no detrimental effect on survival rates, or their ability to implant. At MCRH, we offer cryopreservation for both semen and embryos.
Though optimal fertilization results are obtained when a fresh sample is used, it is strongly encouraged to cryopreserve (freeze) an additional semen sample for "emergency IVF backup." This cryopreserved sample could be used if a fresh sample cannot be obtained, or it may be used to augment a fresh sample of poor quality semen.
It is possible that cryopreservation of sperm is desired prior to beginning chemotherapy or radiation therapy for young men, in order to preserve fertility options. If you are looking for information on cryopreserving sperm prior to starting oncology treatment, please see our Cryopreservation for Cancer Patients information.
At MCRH every effort is made to encourage use of all embryos that may result from the IVF process. Typically patients transfer one to two fresh embryos and cryopreserve the remainder. We strongly encourage freezing embryos which are not chosen for transfer with a fresh IVF cycle. These embryos will be stored in the frozen state until patients elect to thaw the embryos for a subsequent embryo transfer. There are many advantages in using these embryos, either to extend the patient’s family when successful from the fresh IVF cycle, or when faced with lack of success with the fresh IVF cycle. It is also possible to donate cryopreserved embryos to other patients, in cases when the donating patients do not wish to extend their family further.
For storage information, please visit the Reprotech website.