Author- Dr Richa Sharma(Senior IVF Consultant Mumbai)
Reproductive medicine as subspeciality is not only limited to IUI,IVF besides it has many other lateral and vertical extensions which gives wings to the humans to take planned decisions and control their lives and not just meeting the fate.One such miracle is –Freezing of future fertility at will and on need.
What is freezing of fertility ?
It means to preserve fertility for future in the form of freezing of gametes and reproductive tissue.It began with preservation in cancer patients but as per need can be extended in others too.For that IVF lab need to have upto date facilities and embryologist needs to be skilled enough in cryopreservation/vitrification
Who all can opt for ?
- Improve the efficiency of IVF
- Alternative to embryo freezing
- Oocyte preservation for patients with ovarian hyper
- stimulation syndrome
- Oocyte donation programme( for quarantine purpose)
- The treatment of congenital infertility disorders
- Prevent fertility loss through surgery
- Treatment of premature ovarian failure (POF)
- Also in cancer patients prior to exposure to chemotherapy or radiotherapy(fertility Cryopreservation)
- In career oriented females who want to plan family later due to other commitments
- In case male partner not available or not able to give semen sample (ED/refuses)
- In cases of failure to form embryos esp when repeated risk is there- half of the oocytes can be cryopreserved to find out the reason (as to whether egg or sperm)
Is it limited to any particular gender ?
It can be beneficial in males and females both
How long we can freeze ?
As per ICMR it can be stored upto 5 years and depending upon situation term can be extended
What are pros and cons being in freezing temperature ?
Benefits are clear from indications mentioned above and disadvantage is due to the attrition affect of freezing media and post recovery survival especially when the samples frozen are not that great in quality and quantity