With age, your fertility declines, lowering your chances of becoming pregnant. However, this isn't a concern for women anymore due to advancements in medical technology. The next breakthrough in the field of assisted reproductive technologies after IVF is the concept of egg freezing. What is egg freezing? Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a fertility technique that involves extracting eggs from a woman's ovaries and freezing them so they can be used later when the woman feels ready for conception and pregnancy. Following the freezing egg process, these frozen eggs are usable and retain their quality for up to ten years. Why do women choose to freeze their eggs? Women may choose to go for egg freezing for many reasons:
- If a woman is above 35 years and still looking for the right partner, she may consider egg-freezing.
- Women who are undergoing cancer treatment choose to have their eggs frozen because chemotherapy and other treatments can affect their fertility.
- Women suffering from a progressive medical illness may choose to freeze their eggs before their disease worsens.
- If the male partner is unable to generate sperm or if quality sperm is not available on the day the eggs are retrieved, the eggs are frozen and then thawed before fertilization in IVF procedures.
How does egg freezing work? The process of egg freezing includes the following steps:
- The first step is to prepare the eggs for freezing, which takes approximately two weeks. It involves injecting fertility drugs into the ovaries daily for 10 to 12 days to stimulate superovulation, the production of a large number of mature eggs at once. The doctor then monitors your ovaries with ultrasound until the eggs are ready to harvest.
- The egg retrieval is done under anesthesia. While you are under anesthesia, the doctor uses ultrasound to locate mature eggs on the ovaries and then extracts as many as possible by inserting a large needle through the vagina.
- Once retrieved, the eggs are frozen at -196 degrees Celsius and stored in liquid nitrogen-cooled cryopreservation tanks for future use.
What are the risks of egg freezing? Like all other forms of assisted reproductive technology (ART), egg freezing has some risks, including:
- Egg freezing doesn't ensure a future pregnancy. If the frozen eggs don't work out, you could have to participate in a donor egg program.
- During the cryofreezing procedure, frozen eggs are susceptible to harm. If this is the case, you can try IVF again or choose another treatment that your fertility doctor may recommend.
- The possibility of illness or contamination exists with your frozen eggs as well. Although it is a rare occurrence with cryofreezing, infections can nonetheless happen.
- Although rare, accidents can occur during the egg retrieval procedure, resulting in blood vessel ruptures or intestinal injury.
How much does egg freezing cost in India? India is preferred over other countries for fertility treatment because of its low-cost fertility services. It costs between 150000 and 170000 INR, approximately. This cost includes all fees associated with the IVF protocol, such as those for egg retrieval and subsequent freezing procedures, as well as the medications and injections used to stimulate the ovaries. If you are considering egg freezing or have questions about it, schedule an appointment with Apollo Fertility. Our experts will guide you through the process so you can become a mother at your own pace.