Dr Goral Gandhi explains process of Embryo Cryopreservation
Preserving motherhood for when you think you’re actually ready
The option of banking embryos, not just for medical reasons but for social factors too, has been a great conduit provided by modern medicine and sciences. Defying the constraints of the natural biological clock, women worldwide have been able to plan better for their pregnancy, and extend their childbearing years through ART and associated options.
The process of embryo freezing has been one such breakthrough medical option for childless parents and couples intending to conceive at later stages in life. It has given women from all walks of life the liberty to plan their motherhood through storing embryos for future pregnancies. “This option can give you peace of mind that whatever happens you may be able to have a family in the future,” says a spokesperson of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the fertility watchdog.
With ART advancements, women are fortunate enough to deliver healthy babies whenever they want, irrespective of their physical conditions or ambitions in life. But what exactly happens during the process of embryo cryopreservation or embryo freezing?
“Embryo cryopreservation is a clinical process that requires a great degree of precision and care. It is the process of freezing and storing embryos in subzero temperatures to preserve their superlative quality. Embryos can remain frozen for a prolonged period and can be thawed to lead to viable pregnancies as and when the couple desires,” says Goral Gandhi, the Founder as well as Scientific and Laboratory Director at Indo Nippon IVF, Mumbai, India.
Dr. Goral Gandhi, a leading embryologist has actively worked towards the science of ART and IVF in India, helping numerous women in their journey towards parenthood. Training more than 300 embryologists, she has educated doctors, scientists and embryologists in various aspects of IVF, embryology, and emphasizes on quality care and management in clinical laboratories.
In cases when a person may wish to freeze their eggs or use them to plan their later pregnancies, the doctor may recommend In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). The process of embryo freezing initiates when the patient intakes hormones to ensure on-time ovulation. Fertility medications also stimulate egg production, which is then left in the laboratory with sperm produces to commence the process of natural fertilization. The fertilized egg- called an embryo, is then monitored by an embryologist, who is vested with the decision to choose a suitable embryo for implantation.
For when it comes to embryos, the credibility and accuracy of grading affects the outcome of the pregnancy, therefore, an embryologist plays a crucial role in deciding which embryo(s) to go further with, explains Goral Gandhi, who has done pioneering research work on quality control in laboratories.
“If you’re at all considering starting a family and are not necessarily exactly where you want to be for any reason, it’s a good idea to come in and talk to a fertility specialist about freezing embryos, or about other options. So I think knowledge is power and there are a lot of options,” says Kathryn Calhoun, a female infertility specialist at the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Embryo cryopreservation has been an effective way for couples who want to welcome pregnancy at later stages of life, or for women who want to preserve motherhood for when they think they are ready to take on the roles of nurturing mothers.