Vitrify your eggs: You can now decide when you want to become a mother
Egg vitrification is an assisted reproduction technique which enables a woman’s eggs to be frozen so that she can delay and choose when she wishes to become a mother. This technique offers similar success rates to that of using fresh eggs. This enables a woman to preserve her fertility if she needs medical treatment that may affect her fertility. It also allows a woman to delay motherhood until much later in life while preserving her own eggs.
Why is it a good idea to freeze your eggs?
As time goes by a woman’s fertility decreases considerably due to the aging of the ovaries. This makes it more difficult for a woman to conceive and indeed her chances of having a healthy baby are also reduced.
Women are born with a fixed number of eggs which reduces with each menstrual cycle so that a woman in her mid thirties has approximately 10% left). In addition the quality of the eggs deteriorate so it can be very difficult for woman approaching forty to have family.
Freezing a woman’s eggs at her most fertile period can help address these problems with a greater chance of having a successful pregnancy and a health baby.
When is egg freezing suggested?
- To preserve fertility. For young single women who want to assure their future fertility. Also for young women with a partner who wish to delay motherhood due to personal and/or professional reasons.
- Before undergoing oncological (cancer) treatment. Chemotherapy and radiology result in irreversible damage to the eggs. A woman’s fertility can be preserved by freezing her eggs before such cancer treatment.
- To increase the pregnancy rates in women with a low egg reserve. This allows the ‘banking’ of eggs over more than one cycle in order to increase the number of embryos and hence the chances of success.
How is egg freezing performed
It is necessary to obtain the eggs through the normal protocols of ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Once the eggs have been retrieved, the vitrification procedure takes place. Vitrification is performed by hardening the eggs quickly at low temperatures to avoid the formation of ice. To achieve this, cellular cryo-protectors are used to avoid breakages in the cellular membranes. When a pregnancy is desired, the eggs are thawed and fertilised. The transfer of the embryos then takes place later, often without the need for hormone treatment.