Oocyte cryopreservation is the technical term for egg freezing. It was developed in the 1980s and historically reserved for those with serious medical conditions who wanted the option to have a baby later in life.
The current situation in the world has made us re-evaluate our priorities. We all understood that we need to think about our future and realized how important being with our loved ones is.
As a result, young couples decided to plan their families or at least make a plan for the future.
However, egg freezing has become a rather controversial treatment. Why is that?
Egg freezing has become more popular in the latest years, as young women became more aware that fertility can decline drastically after the age of 35, and there might be the possibility that once they are ready to have children it can be more difficult.
It is important before you decide to do so, to know the facts. And to be aware of the obstacles you might face.
Egg freezing implies that you will go through an ovarian stimulation, with injections that you will need to apply daily for about 10 – 12 days so that you will produce more eggs than in a natural cycle.
In egg freezing, it is really important to be able to store more eggs. Therefore it could be that you might need to do more than one stimulating cycle.
Another important issue is how many eggs to preserve in order to have at least one child. It is challenging to determine the ideal number of oocytes to freeze. It depends on many factors, including maternal age and health, ovarian reserve, reproductive goals, and also paternal health. No number of oocytes can offer a guarantee
Our mission must be to inform that the possibility of having a child is greatest at younger ages, but also to inform about elective egg freezing alongside other reproductive alternatives. Egg freezing by choice means no guarantee to have a child but offers women a means to take control of their fertility. Many women are insufficiently aware that fertility drops with age. By adding information of the possibility to freeze eggs to the message of fertility decline, women may feel helped rather than lectured.
What is vitrification?
The method of freezing has evolved and our center uses the vitrification method. This increases the chances of survival of eggs once they are thawed to be used for fertilization. Vitrification is the practice of freezing an egg or embryo with extremely rapid cooling ‒ so fast that ice crystals never form.The word “vitrification” comes from the Latin term for glass “vitrum”. In the context of freezing eggs and embryos, vitrification is the process of freezing so rapidly that the water molecules don’t have time to form ice crystals, and instead instantaneously solidify into a glass-like structure. It’s a much more complicated practice than previous “slow freezing” methods, and it has yielded good results. Currently, pregnancy success rates from vitrification are comparable to fresh IVF cycles, a feat that has only been realized in the past several years.
Should you freeze your eggs?
Solely the fact that you have frozen your eggs, doesn’t guarantee you a pregnancy. But it gives you better chances than using your own eggs later in life.Obtaining a pregnancy has many factors, and egg quality is one of them. An important factor non the less, but it is not the only one.We do however encourage younger women, who think about postponing motherhood for later, to at least investigate their own fertility and think about their options for preserving fertility.