What is Oocyte Vitrification?
Vitrification is the process of preserving eggs or embryos for later use. Ooctye vitrification is a process of freezing the eggs collected from the follicle during egg retrieval process of oocyte freezing. It is a process of preserving women fertility. At the later stage when the women wish to conceive the stored eggs are unfrozen, fertilized with sperm in lab to create an embryo, which is implanted in the uterus.
Causes for need of Oocyte Vitrification
The fertility of a person can be at risk due to present ailment or its treatment procedure or after treatment effects. Following are the causes based on which an individual decides for Oocyte freezing –
- Woman who has to go through cancer treatment process like chemotherapy and radiotherapy which might affect her fertility.
- A woman who is suffering from non deadly disease but the treatment of it may affect her fertility.
- Woman with genetic diseases may get her fertility affected in the future.
- Woman who need to undergo a surgery that might affect her ovarian tissue.
- A woman who going through in vitro fertilization treatment.
- If a woman doesn’t want to utilize remaining embryos left post IVF treatment.
- A woman at risk of premature ovarian failure due to chromosomal disorder.
- A woman who is converting to male is planning to start hormone therapy or is planning to undergo genital reconstructive surgery.
- Women who want to delay in having child till achieving career objective or meeting right person or to complete education or other reasons
- Women who are on the active military duty.
When to visit a doctor?
The oocyte vitrification can be performed by specialist called reproductive endocrinologist at dedicated fertility clinic. If you are planning for oocyte vitrification treatment for above mentioned causes kindly visit the reproductive endocrinologist for proper and accurate guidance.
Process of Oocyte Vitrification
The process of oocyte vitrification consists of three vital stages. The first stage is when the eggs are revealed to high concentrations of cryoprotectants to facilitate dehydration (loss of water) of cells at fast pace. Cryoprotectant is a fluid substance that protects eggs. The second stage is when the eggs are put into tiny storage containers (straw) which will enable ultra-rapid cooling, and the last stage is when the containers storing the eggs are cooled at the pace of thousands of degrees per minute.
Thus, the accumulation of high cooling rate and of high concentrations of cryoprotectants leads to the contents of the container to transform into a glass instead of ice. Hence, the prime objective of vitrification process, which differentiates it from other process, is achieved – Successful avoiding formation of ice. This helps in the protection of the oocyte from damage and allows them to be stored for later use. The survival rate of these eggs after implantation is more than 90%.
When the patient intends to use their vitrified eggs, the vitrification process of freezing which is stated above is reversed. At first the egg is warmed back to room temperature. Then at 37°C, and it is rehydrated. In this step the eggs are warmed for about 20 minutes and then they are placed back in the incubator at 37°C in the laboratory. The incubated eggs are injected back with a single sperm about 3 to 4 hours later.
Advantage of Oocyte Vitrification
The other process of preservation is the slow process. In this process the eggs are cooled at very slow pace. The cooling continues till it reaches -320F, which is the end storing temperature. At this temperature all biological activities in the cell ceases, and thus facilitate the preservation of egg. This entire process of cooling takes about two to three hours.
On the other hand vitrification is a fast freezing process. It cools to -320F at the pace of thousands of degrees per minute. Thus, the entire process of cooling takes few minutes. The eggs become glass like structure and not ice.
The factor that it cools in few minutes not only give it advantage over the other process, but also eliminate the possibility of formation of ice crystals form inside the cell. The concentration of cryoprotectants protects it from risk of formation of ice crystals form inside the cell. The vitrified oocytes have more than 90% survival rate.
Vitrification is the process of preserving eggs or embryos for later use.
The process of oocyte vitrification consists of three vital stages.
It takes about two to three hours to cool down to -320F through slow process
The accumulation of high cooling rate and of high concentrations of cryoprotectants leads to the contents of the container (eggs) to transform into a glass like form.
The survival rate is more than 90%.