Oocyte cryopreservation is a process in which a woman's eggs (oocyte) are extracted, frozen and stored. Later, when she is ready to become pregnant, the eggs are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos. In order to retrieve the eggs, the patient will need to take the same hormonal medication as patients having IVF treatment. The eggs are cryopreserved using a procedure called vitrification.The only difference is when the eggs are retrieved they are frozen and not fertilized.
Embryo cryopreservation is a process whereby embryos that are not transferred can be cryopreserved, stored and used at a latter stage. The embryos are usually cryopreserved either at day 3 (embryo) or day 5/6 (blastocyst) of their development.
Semen cryopreservation is a procedure to cryopreserve sperm. The cryopreserved sperm can be used for sperm donation. The sperm is cryopreserved before a patient has a vasectomy, or treatments that may affect their fertility, for example chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. The semen can be stored indefinitely in liquid nitrogen cannisters.