Stem cells are considered as the building blocks of life. They are undifferentiated cells which can undergo further differentiation into specialized cells. Embryos formed during the blastocyst stage of embryonic development are known as embryonic stem cells. It is important to store your stem cells for future use in case of any chronic illness or infertility. Storing your own stem cells is faster, safer and cheaper than receiving anyone else’s stem cell. Stem cell based therapies have been successful in treatment of cancer, anaemia, infertility and so on.
Reasons for storing eggs or embryos:
Egg or oocyte Cryopreservation
Oocyte or egg cryopreservation involves the freezing of eggs that have been directly retrieved from the ovaries of women.
The egg retrieval process for oocyte cryopreservation includes several weeks of hormone injections to stimulate ovaries to mature multiple eggs. The final maturation induction is performed by using a GnRH agonist which decreases the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. The eggs are then removed from the body by transvaginal oocyte retrieval. The eggs are first dehydrated and then frozen either by a controlled rate, slow cooling method or a flash cooling method known as vitrification.
When eggs are thawed, a special fertilization procedure is performed where the sperm is directly injected into the egg rather than natural penetration of a sperm by placing it around the egg in a dish. This injection technique is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). It is also used in in-vitro fertilization.
Embryo cryopreservation includes ovarian hyperstimulation, egg retrieval and embryo transfer. The ovarian hyperstimulation is done by using GnRH agonist for final oocyte maturation. It can decrease the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Vitrification is the main technique used for embryo cryopreservation which results in decreased risk of DNA damage. Slow programmable freezing (SPF) is also used for freezing.
The embryos are frozen by a slow programmable freezing method in ethylene glycol freeze medium and transferred directly to the recipients immediately after water thawing.
Reasons for choosing ARC