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Embryo, egg & sperm freezing

Cryopreservation of embryos, sperm, eggs and testes biopsies is done for various reasons. Some of the more common reasons are medical conditions that require treatment harmful towards reproduction. Sometimes it is due to logistical reasons or just to preserve fertility till the patient is ready to start with a family.

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Is Cryopreservation (freezing) right for me?

Cryopreservation is the freezing and thawing of embryos for use in future IVF cycles. Sperm can also be frozen for men who are about to undergo surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy which could possibly impair their future fertility.

Fertility preservation

Women at risk of early menopause, have genetic disorder limiting fertility or wish to have children later can have eggs collected and stored.

Medical Conditions

Egg freezing has the potential to assist female cancer patients, as chemotherapy and radiation treatment can often have a harmful effect on fertility, rendering many of these patients menopausal.

Logistical reasons

Men who travel, serve in the military or who are undergoing vasectomy can benefit from sperm banking. Cancer treatment for males can also result in a decline in sperm quality, and often times even sterility.

Left over embryos

During an IVF cycle there may be some extra embryos created. These embryos can undergo cryopreservation and be used for future IVF cycles. In this way there is no need to induce ovulation a second time and thereby reduces costs.

Cryopreservation can be an excellent way to preserve your fertility and improve your chances of having a biological child in the future. 

The Egg-Freezing Process

Our centre uses vitrification when freezing eggs. In this process the solution containing the egg is cooled so rapidly that the water molecules do not have time to form damaging ice crystals and instantly solidify into a glass-like structure.

Evaluation of ovarian reserve

An appointment will need to be scheduled where the doctor will do blood tests as well as ultrasound evaluations of the ovaries. This is to check whether ovulation is occurring and also to check how many ova are available.

Ovulation induction

Daily injections with FSH (Menopur, Gonal F, Fostimon or Puregon) is given for 6 – 8 days and most women administer it themselves. This stimulates the growth of several follicles instead of just 1 or 2. The response of the ovaries is monitored with ultrasound and will vary according to each woman’s ovarian reserve.

Egg retrieval & freezing

Once your eggs are ready to be retrieved, you will undergo a quick 15-minute surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs. You will be sedated and the eggs will be removed with a needle through the vaginal wall – there are no cuts or stitches. Immediately after the retrieval, the eggs will be frozen in the lab.   

Storage

The eggs are stored at a facility and will be kept there until you notify us that you need them. An annual fee is payable to store the eggs. 

Ready to get started on your egg freezing process?

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The Sperm-Freezing Process

Freezing sperm can be greatly beneficial to preserve future fertility in these uncertain times. Our centre performs short-term freezing of sperm with some requirements. 

Semen analysis

A semen analysis needs to be presented and may not be older than 6 months.

Appointment scheduling

You are required to book in advance and appointments can be scheduled Monday to Friday from 8am to 10am.

Abstinence

It is required that there is a three day period of abstinence with no intercourse or masturbation occurring within that period.

Consent form and payment

It is required that you provide the consent form and complete the payment on the day of freezing.

One year storage

Should the sperm not be utilised within the first year, it is recommended that you contact Androcryos for long-term storage.

If you ever feel unsure about your fertility journey or need advice, our staff are always happy to assist and provide guidance. 

The Embryo-Freezing Admin Process

The administrative part of embryo freezing is a very important aspect of the process and there are a few simple steps we follow to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Consent form

You will need to provide us with a signed consent form in order to move forward with the embryo freezing process. This consent form will also contain specific information regarding the future of the embryos in case of divorce or death.

Payment

You will be asked to pay the initial fee on the day of freezing.

Annual communication and storage

Please communicate with us every year regarding the embryo and kindly pay the applicable storage fee.

Notice of future use

Future uses can include one of the below: Frozen Embryo Transfer or Thawing/Discarding or Adoption of Embryos. Please see the processes for each below. 

Frozen Embryo Transfer Process

A frozen embryo transfer, or FET, is a kind of IVF treatment where a cryopreserved embryo created in a full IVF cycle is thawed and transferred to a woman’s uterus. The cryopreserved embryo may be from a woman’s previous conventional IVF cycle, or it may be a donor embryo.

Day 1 of your menstrual cycle

Please phone us on the first day of your period. We will then supply you with a script for Estrofem 2 mg three times per day from day 3 of your period and instruct you when to stop taking the Estrofem.

Appointment scheduling

We will then schedule an appointment on your day 16 for measurement of the endometrium and start with the Crinone/Cyclogest (progesterone).

Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer will then be scheduled after 5 days of the day 16 appointment. Please arrive with a full bladder and settle the account in full or bring proof of payment.

Pregnancy Test

The pregnancy test will be 8 days after the embryo transfer and you should kindly contact us after 3 hours for the result.

One year storage

Should the sperm not be utilised within the first year, it is recommended that you contact Androcryos for long-term storage.

Thawing/Discarding or Adoption of Embryos Process

If you decide to discard the embryos or give them up for adoption, there are several steps to be followed to ensure a smooth process. 

Contact with Intent

Please contact us with your intend to thaw/discard or give the embryos up for adoption.

Sign Consent Form

Please sign and return the original consent form signed in front of a commissioner of oath.

Settle Accounts

Please settle all outstanding storage fees.

Receive Notification

Confirmation will be send via email upon discarding or thawing of embryos.

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