Cryopreservation is a fertility therapy in which a woman’s oocytes are extracted, frozen, and stored for the future. Later, the oocytes can be thawed, fertilized via in vitro fertilization, and later transferred back to the woman’s uterus as embryos or blastocysts to complete their development into a fetus.
Cryopreservation has also been applied to later stages, such as in the development of a fertilized oocyte. Several advances in technology allowing for the freezing of embryos and blastocysts have made this possible. The freezing of sperm from a male partner, or his testicular tissue, can also be done in cases where this is indicated. Cryopreservation in the Philippines is quite common, and is associated with in-vitro fertilization for patients having difficulty getting pregnant.
For women who are currently undergoing assistive reproductive treatment, but do not wish to freeze embryos, due to conflict with personal ethics or religious beliefs, oocyte Cryopreservationn is an optimal choice. This ensures that there would be no excess embryos are created, thus the mother does not need to decide whether to dispose of unused, living embryos, or blastocysts further along in development.
Cryopreservation of oocytes also allows women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and who have not yet started chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or other treatment modalities that would be toxic for their eggs. Also, women who simply choose to postpone motherhood until the right time, and preserve their future ability to have a baby can benefit from cryopreservation their oocytes.
For men, cryopreservation of sperm and testicular tissue is useful in cases where they have been diagnosed with cancer and face treatment that is potentially toxic to their reproductive tissue. Sperm freezing gives couples the opportunity to try assistive reproductive therapies in the future. Freezing testicular tissue allows men to maximize the use of their testicular tissue for sperm production, and is a solution for treating azoospermia.
Cryopreservation of embryos and blastocysts also has some substantial benefits. In the event of a failed transfer of an embryo back to a woman’s uterus, any available cryopreserved embryos can be transferred to her uterus. Thus, having more embryos available increases the chances of a successful pregnancy, and this is made possible through cryopreservation.
Embryos created in the process of assistive reproductive therapy can also be donated to another woman or couple who has tried and been unsuccessful at becoming pregnant.
Cryopreservation allows for several advantages that would otherwise be unavailable to patients seeking to get pregnant by natural, usual methods. It is integral in increasing IVF success rates in the Philippines, as it does in other parts of the world.