What is Oocyte Freezing?
Oocyte freezing is a medical procedure that involves extracting eggs from a woman's ovaries, freezing them, and storing them for future use. The process is conducted under sedation, and the eggs are then frozen using a technique called vitrification.
This technique involves rapid freezing of the eggs, preventing the formation of ice crystals that can damage the eggs. Once frozen, they can be stored for an extended period and thawed when a woman is ready.
Why Consider Oocyte Freezing?
There are several reasons why a woman may choose to freeze her eggs, including:
- Delaying pregnancy: Oocyte freezing allows women to preserve their fertility and delay pregnancy for personal or professional reasons.
- Fertility preservation: Women who are about to undergo cancer treatment or other medical procedures that may affect their fertility can freeze their eggs to preserve their chance of having a biological child in the future.
- Age: As a woman ages, her fertility declines, and the quality of her eggs decreases. This allows women to preserve their eggs at their peak quality, increasing their chances of a successful pregnancy.
Risks and Complications
As with any medical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with oocyte freezing. These include:
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: OHSS is a condition that occurs when the ovaries become swollen and painful after the stimulation of egg production.
- Multiple pregnancies: If multiple eggs are fertilized, it can result in multiple pregnancies, which increases the risk of complications during pregnancy.
- Risk of birth defects: There is a slight risk of birth defects associated with the use of frozen eggs.
Preparing for Oocyte Freezing
Before the procedure, women will undergo a series of tests to assess their fertility and overall health. These tests include:
- Blood tests: Blood tests are conducted to check for any underlying medical conditions and to check hormone levels.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound is used to check the condition of the ovaries and the uterus.
- Consultation: Women will also have a consultation with a fertility specialist to discuss the procedure and any concerns they may have.
The oocyte freezing procedure is conducted over several weeks and involves several steps, including:
- Stimulation of egg production: Medications are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
- Egg retrieval: The eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a needle. This is done under sedation, and the procedure typically takes around 20-30 minutes.
- Freezing: The eggs are then frozen using the vitrification technique. This technique involves rapidly freezing the eggs to prevent the formation of ice crystals.
- Storage: The eggs are then stored in a cryopreservation facility, which is specially designed to maintain the eggs at extremely low temperatures.
When to Use Frozen Eggs
Frozen eggs can be used when the woman is ready to have a baby. The eggs are thawed, and fertilization is done using either ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) or IVF (In-vitro fertilization) technique.
In conclusion, oocyte freezing is a safe and effective procedure that allows women to preserve their eggs for future use. It is an excellent option for women who wish to delay pregnancy for personal or professional reasons, or for those who wish to preserve their fertility.
It is important to meet and discuss this with a healthcare professional before proceeding. You can request an appointment at Apollo Fertility/Cradle in Guwahati
Call 1860-500-4424 to book an appointment
Eggs can be frozen for an extended period, and the current technology allows for eggs to be stored indefinitely.
The success rate of pregnancies using frozen eggs varies depending on factors such as the woman's age and the quality of the eggs at the time of freezing. However, studies have shown that the success rate is comparable to traditional IVF using fresh eggs.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with oocyte freezing. These include ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, multiple pregnancies, and a slight risk of birth defects. It is important to discuss these risks with your fertility specialist before undergoing the procedure.
The quality of eggs declines as a woman ages, so the chances of a successful pregnancy are greater when the eggs are used at a younger age. However, it is still possible to use frozen eggs later in life, and your fertility specialist can advise you on the best time to use them.
Coverage for oocyte freezing varies depending on the insurance plan and the country you live in. It is be