Most women who are in pursuit of their career goal delay motherhood, but this is not the only reason why some women want to delay having a baby. There are women who want to delay it for not able to find the right partner. Reasons are aplenty, which have changed the thinking, as well as childbearing plans of women. Nevertheless, most women fear of female infertility owing to physical problems, advanced maturity age and hormone problems, and they want to preserve their egg when young through oocyte Vitrification.
What is Oocyte Vitrification?
Oocyte Vitrification, which is also called mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a way by which female fertility is saved. Through this technique, women can postpone their ability to become pregnant by having their eggs extracted or retrieved, frozen and preserved.
Also, Read: Who Are the Right Candidates for Egg Freezing
Why Is It Done?
Oocyte Vitrification can be opted if you do not want to become pregnant now, but you want to ensure that you will become pregnant in future. With egg freezing, you are at a liberty to exercise reproductive choices. Moreover, this process does not ask for the sperm as the eggs that are frozen are not fertilized. However, it requires you to have fertility medications to help ovulation, and produce several eggs for retrieval.
Oocyte cryopreservation may be necessary for those:
- Who have a situation or medical condition that results in infertility. The situations are autoimmune diseases, sickle cell anaemia and gender diversity, i.e., being a transgender.
- Who have to undergo treatment for certain illnesses such as cancer, which will affect pregnancy later. The treatment for these illnesses is chemotherapy or radiation, and it can affect one’s fertility. In such as case, you can opt for oocyte Vitrification before the treatment and become pregnant in future.
- Who undergo in vitro fertilization procedure. Some women choose egg freezing instead of embryo freezing owing to ethical or religious reasons.
- Who want to save eggs when they are young to help them get pregnant later.
Also, Read: Vitrification Of Eggs
How Do You Prepare for It and What Is the Process?
There is not enough data related pregnancies through oocyte Vitrification. Therefore, it is advisable to find a fertility clinic, which has the expertise to handle it. A clinic’s success depends on several factors, including the age of the patient. You can talk to the clinic, if possible to the reproductive endocrinologist before considering the freezing of your eggs. There is cost connected with each step of the egg cryopreservation process and the charges for annual storage. You may check with the clinic in case you are worried about the expenses.
Once You Have Decided to Go For It, You Need to Have Some Screening Blood Tests.
- Ovarian Reserve Tests: Your fertility depends on the quantity and quality of eggs in your ovaries. The signs of ovulation are known by measuring hormone levels. Your doctor will check your ovarian reserve through some main tests such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Mullerian hormone and estradiol performed on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Another test to know the ovarian antral follicle count and an ultrasound will help have a complete picture of the function of ovaries.
- Infectious Disease Tests: You have to undergo certain infectious disease test to check for hepatitis B and C and HIV.
Oocyte Vitrification Involves Multiple Steps:
For stimulating your ovaries, you need to take medications, which will help them produce multiple eggs. The medications include injections for ovarian stimulation and preventing premature ovulation. You will be continuously monitored during the treatment by performing blood tests to evaluate your ovaries’ response to the medications. With vaginal ultrasound, the inside of the ovaries is viewed to track the fluid-filled sacs’ development. After 10-14 days when the follicles are ready, a human chorionic gonadotropin injection is given to the patient to enable the eggs to mature.
For this process, you need to visit the clinic, where your doctor will perform transvaginal ultrasound aspiration under sedation. With an ultrasound probe, the follicles in your vagina are tracked and assessed for matured eggs. Then, a suction device with a needle is inserted into your vagina to reach follicles. Using the needle, multiple eggs are retrieved from follicles. Research shows that the chances of conception and birth are high in case of egg retrieval of up to 15 per cycle.
The unfertilized eggs retrieved are immediately cooled to preserve them for use in future. The cooling of the unfertilized eggs is difficult for their makeup, but they help have more successful pregnancy than with a fertilized egg. Hence, the Vitrification technique involves adding high concentrations of cryoprotectants and rapid cooling of the eggs to avoid forming any ice crystals.
After a week of the oocyte Vitrification process, you can go back to your normal activities, and contact your doctor if you have high fever, difficulty urinating, heavy vaginal bleeding, and severe abdominal pain.
Also, Read: Oocyte Donation or Egg Donation
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