Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The ABC of cryopreservation


The ABC of cryopreservation

Every case of infertility opens a new horizon of knowledge and expertise for me. As an infertility expert I need to take every problem carefully to understand the actual problem. Technology comes to rescue and there are many complex techniques that help a lot in making various steps simpler and quicker.

Normally, infertility treatment goes for multiple iterations and the couples need to undergo several rounds before the final success comes. There are a few steps that are complex and painful. It is very much cumbersome to repeat those steps every time. Techniques like cryopreservation help us in preserving the precious samples so that they can be used effectively in the subsequent iterations.

Cryopreservation is the method of keeping the embryos, sperms, gametes, tissues from ovaries or testicles in an extremely low temperature with an intention of the use in future. Samples can be kept intact for the future use and there is a huge saving of cost and resources. There is increased efficiency and reduced discomfort and inconvenience to the couple.

We perform the task in two steps. Firstly, the sample is collected from the female or male partner and kept in special tubes that look like straws. These tubes are stored below zero degree Celsius temperature and there is a special solution used to prevent the specimens from getting frozen. This solution is called cryopreservant and the specimens are thawed before they are used.

There are multiple protocols for cryopreservation and they vary in terms of the storage temperature, type of cryopreservant, time required for freezing and thawing and the type of specimen.

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