Egg freezing and sperm freezing is becoming new trend among the career-centered individuals of the 21st century. That said, there are individuals that opt for these fertility preservation alternatives to keep the risk of any potential illness or health complication away from their future child.
For example, if you are undergoing cancer treatment and understand that the quality of your eggs may be hampered due to the treatment process, you may go for egg freezing. Else, you may have to opt for egg donation given the low quality of your eggs for conception.
For those who are not aware, Vitrification is the procedure that is been used to ensure egg and sperm freezing in Mumbai and other cities around the world.
What is Vitrifcation?
In general, vitrification is the process of turning something into a substance that resembles glass. Moreover, it derives from the glass-related Latin root vitreum. Not many people know but sand is turned into glass using vitrification technology, which is also utilized to put that glossy finish on the ceramic pots and to stabilize nuclear waste for easier disposal.
This form of cryopreservation, known as vitrification in fertility medicine, turns the liquid molecules in cells into a glass-like structure instead of ice crystals.
Not many people know but oocytes (or unfertilized eggs) could only previously be frozen using a slow-freezing technique at egg freezing in Mumbai. So, even if it’s about egg or sperm freezing in Mumbai, the technique came over as highly effective. However, there were numerous issues with the slow freeze method for eggs.
- In order to preserve an egg cell, it must be cooled to -320 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, the biological process inside the cells is stopped by this freezing temperature, enabling it to be safely stored for later use.
- On the other side, the egg would be cooled down in the slow-freezing method very gradually until it reached the desired temperature. This approach, though imperfect, has occasionally caused the following issues.
- Ice crystals posed a serious problem. Compared to sperm and even embryos, eggs have higher water content. This is where Crystals developed as a result of freezing eggs and the same egg was destroyed by these crystals.
- Scientists at the egg freezing clinic would take some of the moisture out of the mixture to help reduce the number of ice crystals. However, it is impossible to get rid of all the water.
- The eggs were damaged and frequently useless when they were defrosted.
- The rates of pregnancy and fertilization for these slowly frozen eggs were low.
When vitrification is used, the freezing procedure is carried out quickly, preventing the formation of ice crystals. That said, the procedure has greatly improved the viability of egg freezing for women.
On the other side, cryopreservation of sperm and embryos also uses vitrification. A 2014 study found that, so far, vitrification appears to be associated with higher pregnancy rates than slow-freezing techniques.
The Process of Vitrification
As an illustration, the vitrification of eggs necessitates the use of significant amounts of cryopreservatives, or anti-freeze substances. The technique necessitates extra caution because these chemicals could be toxic to the egg.
First, a lower-concentration anti-freeze bath is used to soak the oocyte. Moreover, sucrose (sugar) is also included in the solution to help with the extraction of water or moisture from the egg. The egg is then immediately frozen by immersion for less than a minute in a highly concentrated anti-freeze bath.
Besides, the eggs are then kept in specialized freezers designed for cryogenic storage at the egg freezing clinics in Mumbai. On the other hand, small straws are used to support the eggs during the same process. The oocyte should then be warmed quickly and taken out of the solution as soon as it is time to thaw the egg. Moreover, the egg can be fertilized through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using intracytoplasmic sperm injection once it has thawed (ICSI).
In ICSI, a single sperm is administered directly into the egg and the freezing process hardens the egg’s outer membrane, making regular IVF impossible. Moreover, in such cases, you then need to opt for egg donation given the low quality of the frozen eggs.