Social Egg Freezing
Oocyte freezing is a procedure to preserve woman’s eggs (oocytes) by cryopreservation. When you need, these frozen eggs are thawed, fertilized and then embryos are transferred to uterus.
With women’s increasing age, her quality of eggs deteriorates.
For 25-30 age group, IVF success rate is 31.5% success.
For 35-40 age group, IVF success rate drops to 14.8%.
This is because of reduction in the quantity and quality of eggs. In fact for age group 38-42 finding even a single healthy egg becomes a challenge.
However, uterus capacity to bear a child remains intact even up to the age of menopause.
Hence egg freezing now, can give you a successful pregnancy at a later age.
What are the reasons one would want to go for social egg freezing?
As mentioned above, egg freezing through Cryopreservation can increase the chance of future pregnancy. There might be several reasons why you would want to post pone your pregnancy. E.g.
· Medical reasons - when pregnancy at this stage is harmful for you.
· Cancer treatment – when getting healthy is your first priority. You should opt for freezing eggs before start of Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy as these treatments are toxic for ovaries and will impact the quality of eggs.
· Social reasons such as employment, studies & career which are equally important in life as getting pregnant.
Another reason you would want to freeze eggs is when you are undergoing Assisted Reproduction Technology, but do not want to freeze embryos. By freezing eggs, you can fertilize then to just before you plan to become pregnant.
What is the procedure for egg freezing?
- Hormonal injections are given for oocyte stimulation to produce multiple eggs.
- Transvaginal sonography is used for monitoring when eggs are ready for retrieval.
- Egg retrieval e.g oocyte pick up is done typically 34-35 hours after hormonal trigger to induce ovulation in same way as to be done for In-Vitro Fertilization. This is done under general anaesthesia)
- Oocytes are then cryopreserved (frozen) by vitrification technique, which eliminates ice formation inside & outside oocytes. Such cryo preserved oocytes give highest success rate when thawed & fertilized using ICSItechnique.
Risks in process of egg retrieval
To freeze the eggs, first we need to retrieve those. This is achieved by giving medicines which stimulate ovaries to produce lot of eggs in the same cycle. If ovaries are over stimulated, following issues may occur.
· OHSS – painful swelling in ovaries, if protocols are wrongly used.
· Bleeding & infection during procedure of egg retrieval
· Vascular injuries due to pick up needle – sometimes even surgery is needed if excessive bleeding
· Increased size of ovaries sometimes gives torsion of ovaries & require urgent surgery.
Risks in process of egg freezing
Freezing of eggs does not carry much risk as the quality of eggs remain as is for indefinite period. The only risk associated is with the quality and cost of storage.
Because the eggs are Cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen environment, its mandatory to maintain this environment else eggs will die. Also there is a recurring maintenance cost associated which patient has to bear.
Egg freezing procedure is done with proper Ovulation Induction, hence it gives successful pregnancies even after decades.
Social egg freezing is on the rise as marriages are happening at later age. By then fertilization power of oocytes has gone down significantly.
Due to this technique, women can have best of both - fulfil their dreams & and have fertility at the same time.
At Akruti IVF, we are successfully doing oocyte vitrification procedure for egg freezing which good recovery rate & excellent results of fertilization.
You would need a combination of Social Freezing with below services to become pregnant:
· Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) - painful swelling in ovaries