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Cryopreservation is a method of deep-freezing of the biomaterial in the nitrogen at a temperature of -196ºС. All life processes in the cells shall stop its activity in such frozen condition, but most importantly, they shall fully preserve its structure and functions. Cryotechnologies are widely used in reproductive medicine. There are several kinds of them.

At Lada Clinic we are successfully applying modern-day cryotechnologies, i.e. slow freezing techniques, vitrification, as well as preservation of the semen, eggs and embryos, ensuring high and solid efficiency of male and female factor infertility.


The method is applied when the spouses are planning to have a second child or if the prior attempt failed. It is a reliable and proven technique. There were no negative effects on the course of pregnancy and fetus detected, that could be related to the cryopreservation and storage at low (-196ºС) temperature.

Cost of storage, embryo thawing and transfer is by an order lower that the so-called “fresh” IVF attempt, which is why the embryo cryopreservation is more economically beneficial.

Married couples who apply to the extracorporeal fertilization centers are often asking doctors about the success level of embryo cryopreservation programs available in such centers.

The extracorporeal fertilization program often comes with a greater number of embryos than it is required for one transfer. If required, they may be stored for future IVF attempts. In addition, same married couple may decide to have another baby in the future, therefore, this method exists to avoid putting additional load on the mother’s organism.

What is embryo cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation is a safe method of freezing and storage of embryos in the nitrogen vapors at a temperature of -196ºС. Application of such low temperature allows stopping all biochemical processes in the cells and storing them for a long time.

Advantages of embryo cryopreservation

The cryopreservation program has a number of significant advantages:

  • Reduction of repeated ovarian stimulations and follicular punctures, which considerably reduces the load of medications on the female organism
  • Great savings of patient’s funds for purchase of additional medications
  • Prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • Possibility to conceive a child in a few years, including after the treatment of oncological diseases
  • Possibility of donating the embryos to other infertile families

Frozen embryos can be stored for as much as it is needed — from several months to several decades. Each couple shall individually decide the fate of their embryos: to stop their storage, to continue storing them, transfer to the uterus, to provide them for scientific researches, transport them to a different clinic or donate them to an infertile couple.

Does the cryopreservation of embryos influence the IVF outcome and development of children?

The process of frozen embryos storage does not have influence on their further development; however, they can be damaged during freezing and thawing. That said, their survival rate after vitrification is much higher (more than 98%) than after the slow freezing (it can be around 50%). Due to this reason, we use the vitrification process at our Clinic.

Children born from a pregnancy with use of thawed embryos do not differ from other children in any way: it is proven by a huge number of babies born from “cryo-pregnancies”.

Semen cryopreservation is especially important if the process of the husband’s semen quality deterioration is progressing or a surgical intervention on organs of the groin and scrotum is planned. In such case the cryopreservation and storage of the sperm is a very good decision. The system of reproductive cells and embryo storage in the nitrogen vapors is fully adjusted and runs smoothly, because pathogenic microorganisms cannot freely move in this environment.

What are the indications for semen cryopreservation?

  • Decreased or very low parameters of the spermogram (oligozoospermia, cryptozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, reduced semen volume);
  • As a precaution in case of surgeries that could pose a risk for the reproductive system (groin hernia, varicocele, prostatectomy, etc.);
  • In case of the upcoming chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as quite often the such treatment causes irreversible damages to the function of spermatogenesis;
  • In order to provide the availability of semen material in case of the patient’s absence (for example, because of being very busy, frequent and long-term business trips, etc.);
  • After the testicular or epididymal biopsy (MESA, TESE);
  • With the purpose of fertility preservation in cases when, for example, professional or athletic activities involves risks for the reproductive system.

Semen cryopreservation procedure

Semen cryopreservation procedure was tried and tested by the Clinic specialists long ago. Before the procedure, a man should refrain from sexual activity for 6-7 days. The doctors shall then analyze the sperm (spermogram). The semen so obtained and analyzed is then cryopreserved. The cryopreservation is performed with the use of liquid nitrogen in absolute sterility. The semen can be stored for many years in such conditions, preserving its ability to fertilize the egg. Thawing should be performed immediately before the ART program.

The method of semen cryopreservation allows preserving its quality through many years, which is possible due to the thorough development and study of freezing and thawing techniques. Such approach enables greater manageability and efficiency of treatment in overcoming male infertility.

Statistically, the probability of pregnancy with use of cryopreserved sperm cells does not differ from the one where a fresh material is used.

This method gave hope to become a biological father to many men. According to the statistics, out of those men who have donated the semen, every fourth of them shall subsequently turn to the Clinic for its further use in the IVF and IUI procedures. Extracorporeal fertilization with the use of the cryopreserved semen helps many families to make their dream come true — to give birth to a child.

Oocyte (egg) cryopreservation is considered an experimental technology and is deemed as a very important technique for a modern day woman, because the number of eggs in a female organism was determined from the birth and the reserve and quality of egg cells are decreasing with each menstrual cycle. Therefore, the oocyte cryopreservation is a kind of a guarantee that makes it possible for a woman to become a mother at a later age, using its young, qualitative genetic material.

Vitrification and storage of eggs is a possibility for a woman who encountered a functional insufficiency or a threat of complete ovarian loss, or who wants to postpone her pregnancy for a while and to give a birth to her biological child in the future. The eggs have a very sensitive organic material, and in contrast to the sperm or embryos, they are extremely non-resistant to low temperatures. The freeze-thaw process causes the formation of ice crystals, thus, changing the chromosomal structure and resulting in an extremely low penetration ability of the sperm during the fertilization process. Accordingly, the oocyte vitrification is very important, when the cryopreservation of oocytes using ultrafast freezing allows preserving the oocytes in their original form. This is a high-technology technique of oocyte vitrification.

The cryopreservation of oocytes lies in their temporary freezing and storage with the purpose of subsequent use for fertilization.

There are two methods of oocyte freezing:

  • Slow freezing that involves high risk of biomaterial damage because of a high water content in it — water crystallization destroys the egg structure and reduces its viability.
  • Vitrification. In this technique, predominant for cryopreservation, the biomaterial is frozen in no time, which with a very high probability allows preserving egg’s integrity and functions at thawing.

At our Clinic, we use the vitrification technique.

In case if a woman wants to preserve its biomaterial for future fertilization, it is recommended to do it before 35 years of age, as the quality of eggs deteriorates with age and their ability to be fertilized is reducing.

Oocyte (egg) cryopreservation is considered an experimental technology and is deemed as a very important technique for a modern day woman, because the number of eggs in a female organism was determined from the birth and the reserve and quality of egg cells are decreasing with each menstrual cycle. Therefore, the oocyte cryopreservation is a kind of a guarantee that makes it possible for a woman to become a mother at a later age, using its young, qualitative genetic material

Treatment procedure

Consultation by a fertility specialist, taking a primary medical history (upon oocyte, semen cryopreservation), agreement signing.

In case of oocyte cryopreservation: a comprehensive examination of a woman. In case of semen cryopreservation: a comprehensive examination of a man, spermogram, additional techniques of semen analysis (if necessary).

Preparation to the cryopreservation procedure (according to the doctor’s instructions), selection of qualitative embryos, oocytes for cryopreservation

Semen, oocyte, embryo cryopreservation


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