Potential future uses of cryopreserved semen specimens include IUI, ICI, IVF, ICSI, and other ART-related procedures. Please note that the quality of the sample post thaw will most likely dictate which procedure(s) can potentially be used. Because sperm counts vary from male to male and from sample to sample, there are different processing methods used prior to cryopreservation which result in different types of vials frozen based upon results of each semen analysis. Basically, our goal is to provide clients with as many high quality vials as possible from each sample collected. Note that multiple vials can be frozen from one semen collection, and one vial is considered one use or attempt at establishing a pregnancy in the future. Refer to the section on the Frequently Asked Questions page, “How can my frozen semen samples be used in the future?” for additional information.
Cryopreserving eggs is a new arena in the reproductive/ infertility industry. Initially touted as a means of preserving fertility in young cancer patients, egg cryopreservation can also be useful in preserving the female gamete prior to fertilization, thereby reducing the social and ethical issues that may be associated with freezing embryos, particularly in single women. Cryopreserved eggs may have to be matured prior to use, whether in vitro or in vivo, thus increasing the risk of non- fertilizable eggs. If frozen for a cancer patient, the potential risk of re- infecting the cancer back into the recipient also becomes problematic. At any rate, eggs must be fertilized with partner or donor sperm to create embryos in order to establish a pregnancy.
Embryos are cryopreserved or vitrified as a means of preserving them. Either method should result in viable embryos at thaw for transfer back into the uterus. Embryos can be preserved at various cell stages, from a fertilized one- cell to blastocyst stages. Thawing is coordinated with the female’s cycle in order to provide an optimal uterine environment for the embryos to implant. Minimal hormonal regulation is required, but cycle monitoring by a physician is important to achieve successful results.