In Inebir we have the most up to date laboratory, adapted to current regulations and a highly trained team working with the latest techniques following the vitrification protocol. With this technology we offer our patients the possibility of cryopreserved biological samples (oocytes, sperm, embryos and ovarian tissue) for different purposes.
One of the main advantages of vitrification is the preservation of fertility, which involves the application of medical, surgical and laboratory procedures to preserve the reproductive capacity of both, women and men, who for different, social or health, reasons are at risk of losing their reproductive potential.
Social and economic changes have contributed to an ever increasing number of women who delay the age of their first pregnancy and childbirth, risking both with the pass of time, the decrease in the reproductive capacity of women and a higher risk of disease requiring potentially gonadotoxic treatments before fulfilling their reproductive desire.
On the other hand, while most cancer patients are between the fifth and sixth decade of life or older, an increasing number of girls and young adults are also affected and manage to overcome the illness undergoing treatments that will seriously affect their reproductive potential. Preserving reproductive capacity becomes a possibility for the future both in healthy individuals, as prevention, and those affected by a pathological process that are exposed to fertility loss.
In the recent years, technologies associated with assisted reproduction have developed new techniques for cryopreservation of gametes, embryos and ovarian tissue that have opened up the possibility of innovate preventive strategies unimaginable not long ago.
Inebir continues investigating in this area to ensure our patients the possibility to fulfill in the future the dream of being mothers, established as a reference clinic in Spain after the alliance created in 2012 with Dr. Masashige Kuwayama, author of the “Cryotec” technique, ensuring a rate of “over 99 percent” of survival oocytes after thawing.
There are different options for fertility preservation:
- Oocyte cryopreservation
This is a technique that preserves female gametes for reproductive purposes, for which they must be removed from the ovary and cryopreserved.
The process begins with a hormonal ovarian stimulation treatment which usually lasts an average of 8 days and it is controlled by ultrasound and hormone analysis that provide comprehensive data on the number and size of developing follicles.
Oocytes are removed by puncture of the ovaries and aspiration of the follicles vaginally. Later they are cultured in the laboratory and cryopreserved.
When the patient wishes to use the cryopreserved eggs, these are thawed and injected with sperm using the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) technique, the endometrium will be prepared for the implantation and, finally, the embryos will be transferred.
Currently, different maturing “in vitro” protocols are being tested that would prevent ovarian stimulation.
- Embryo cryopreservation
Embryo cryopreservation is an essential part of assisted reproduction treatments because it allows the preservation of the embryos for a later use.
The embryos resulting from In Vitro Fertilization treatment can be cryopreserved for different reasons: embryos not transferred in this cycle (in Spain the law does not allow more than three transferred embryos to avoid multiple pregnancies), or when it is not recommended to perform embryo transfer for different reason (medical contraindications, etc.), preserving all of the embryos obtained. Thus, cryopreservation is an alternative for couples where one member suffers from an illness that could affect reproductive capacity in the future.
With this technique, the embryos can be stored for years and used when needed. Transfer usually takes place during a natural ovulatory cycle.
New embryo vitrification techniques provide very good results, 90% to 100% of which survive the thawing process of the vitrified embryos, depending on the selection and stage where vitrification was performed.
- Ovarian tissue cryopreservation
This is the vitrification of the ovarian tissue obtained from surgery, usually laparoscopic. It is based on the survival of the vitrification and devitrification processes of the primordial follicles present in the ovarian cortex. The primordial follicles with immature oocytes inside can be cryopreserved directly without previous hormonal stimulation so this procedure may be indicated and performed quickly and without delay. When the patient wishes, the ovarian graft can be implanted, either by the heterotopic method (subcutaneous or intramuscular implant level) or orthotopic (at the medullary surface of the contralateral ovary or in the ovarian fossa). This technique is particularly appropriate when you do not have the time to vitrify oocytes or embryos.