Cryopreservation is a technique in which organelles, tissues, cells are stored at very low temperatures to maintain their vitality. It is a method of storing cells at a very low temperature in liquid nitrogen either by rapid cooling or slow cooling techniques. Cryopreservation of spermatozoa was started in the 1960s and became an efficient technique to preserve male fertility before treating any malignant disease. Sperm freezing is the process of analyzing, freezing, and storing human sperm. The stored samples are then used for treating infertility or donating the sperm to the recipient. The whole process is known as sperm cryopreservation or sperm banking.
- The sperm sample is collected in a dish and analyzed for volume, viscosity, and sperm motility.
- Then, cryoprotectants are mixed into the sample. Cryoprotectant helps decrease the freezing point of substance and lowers the amount of salt and solutes present in the sample and hence prevent the formation of ice within spermatozoa.
- The best cryoprotectant used for sperm freezing is glycerol, ethylene glycol, dimethyl sulphoxide, and 1, 2-propanediol. They prevent the spermatozoa from any injury occurring during cryopreservation.
Process of cryopreservation
- The process of sperm cryopreservation includes
- Routine screening of transmissible diseases like HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis.
- Extraction of sperm
- Quality and quantity analysis of sperm
- Freezing and storing sperm for indefinite time duration.
Dr. Sowjanya Aggarwal IVF Clinic is the best sperm freezing clinic providing the best sperm or semen cryopreservation services in Delhi/NCR.
Cryopreservation of spermatozoa can be performed by two methods
- In this technique, the biological samples are quickly frozen so that large ice crystals cannot form and damage cells.
- In this method, the sperms are directly immersed in the liquid nitrogen at -196°C within 8 to 10 minutes.
- The drawback of this method is low reproducibility.
- It consists of progressive sperm cooling for 2-4 hours in two or three steps manually or by the semi-programmable freezer.
- Then, the sample is immersed in nitrogen at -196°C.
- This method's drawback is the formation of ice crystals, and progressive freezing can cause injury to cells.
Benefits of Sperm freezing
It becomes a boon to the couples who are infertile for years due to different reasons. Here are some of the benefits of sperm freezing are listed below-
- Due to aging, sperm starts to become immotile and less fertile, but with sperm freezing, it is possible to store healthy sperm, which can be used for the In-vitro fertilization process.
- Due to chemotherapy or other malignant disease treatment, the quality of sperm deteriorated, which can cause infertility in males, but the storage of sperm prior to any treatment can be used later for the IVF technique.
- Several males opt for a vasectomy as a birth control method, but before vasectomy, one should also opt for sperm cryopreservation for future reference and preserve their fertility.
- It also becomes a boon for transgender couples. They can have a baby with the help of sperm freezing techniques.
For more information about the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment in Delhi/NCR, consult today with IVF specialist Dr. Sowjanya Aggarwal.