Egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation is a modern method to preserve future fertility potential by undergoing a process in which oocytes will be extracted and cryopreserved after ovarian stimulation.
The method is indicated for women who:
- want to postpone childbearing in order to evolve educationally, personally and professionally ( Social egg freezing)
- will undergo chemotherapy or some kind of radiation that may affect their fertility.
- will undergo surgery that can cause damage to their ovaries.
- have a family history of premature menopause.
When is the right time to freeze eggs?
It is well-known that ovarian storage decreases with age and this process is significantly faster after the age of 35 years. By the age of 35, freezing eggs can lead to more successful pregnancy outcome in the future. After the age of 35, the quantity and quality of oocytes decrease. A woman in her early 40s has only a 5% chance of getting pregnant every month. As a result, eggs stored over the age of 38 are associated with lower success rates for future pregnancies.
What is the process of egg freezing?
In order to obtain a good number of oocytes, the patient undergoes the same ovarian stimulation with hormonal injections and the same egg retrieval procedure, as in an IVF cycle. The oocytes collected will then be quickly frozen with a technique which we call quick freezing or “vitrification”. Eggs can be kept frozen, for a long time, without reducing their quality.
How many eggs must be cryopreserved to achieve a pregnancy?
Based on existing data, fertilization rates of the cryopreserved oocytes after thawing process are 75% in women up to 38 years old. In most women under the age of 38, more than 10 eggs can be collected per cycle. In women over 38 years of age, sometimes can be necessary to undergo > 1 ovarian stimulation cycle in order to achieve a sufficient number of mature eggs for cryopreservation. For example, if a woman has frozen 10 eggs, 7 are expected to survive thawing and 6 to achieve conception.
How long can eggs be stored?
The vitrification that has been applied in recent years as an egg cryopreservation technique has improved the preservation rates of egg quality, regardless of the duration.
Contact the specialist in Human Reproduction and In Vitro Fertilization Obstetrician-Gynecologist Dr. Melina Stasinou, for a personalized diagnosis and start the process of cryopreservation of your eggs for a safer future fertility.