Egg Freezing

Egg Freezing

 

 

Freezing of embryos is method of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where a woman can pursue fertility treatment later in life. New techniques of egg freezing show great success, and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends this procedure.

 

Who is a candidate for egg freezing?

Any woman who wishes to put off childbearing can participate in egg freezing. Because fertility declines with advancing age for women, many women wish to freeze eggs during their twenties and early thirties. Because aging is associated with an increase in chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage, women often freeze eggs to use later in life.

 

Are donor eggs frozen?

Women who cannot produce eggs or have poor quality eggs may wish to use frozen donor eggs. Use of donor eggs greatly increase some women’s chances of conceiving a child. The advances in cryopreservation (storage of frozen eggs) allows young, fertile women to donate eggs for women who have problems with conception.

 

Can cancer patients use egg freezing?

Egg freezing is often done when a woman has cancer. Because cancer treatment can affect fertility, many women under the age of 40 wish to participate in the egg freezing procedure. Chemotherapy and radiation can damage the maturing follicles in ovaries, women put eggs in frozen storage.

 

Can eggs be frozen during in vitro fertilization?

During in vitro fertilization, eggs mature inside the female body using fertility drugs. Once eggs are mature, they can be frozen. This is often done during in vitro fertilization.

 

What is in vitro maturation (IVM)?

When a woman wishes to freeze her eggs or if her cancer makes ovarian stimulation risky, the immature eggs can be retrieved and frozen. The eggs can be matured later after thawing through a technique called in vitro maturation (IVM). With IVM, eggs are matured outside the body in a laboratory.

 

What is the slow egg freezing method?

With the slow egg freezing method, a substance called cryoprotectant is used to protect biological tissues from suffering damage due to freezing. The cryoprotectant is introduced when the egg is at a warm temperature. This substance permeates and fills the egg to replace lost water content. Once done, the egg is inserted into a plastic container and placed in a cooling chamber. Small amounts of liquid nitrogen are injected into the cooling chamber so the temperature can be lowered slowly.

 

What is the rapid egg freezing method?

Also called vitrification, rapid egg freezing involves exposing the egg to a higher concentration of cryoprotectant. The egg is immediately plunged into liquid nitrogen with this method. Recent clinical studies show that vitrification improves the chance of egg survival and improves pregnancy rates.

 

Does egg freezing work?

Data shows that egg freezing has shown significant improvement in efficiency over the last couple of decades, with lower miscarriage rates and better pregnancy rates. In a recent research study, the rate of birth defects for babies conceived after egg freezing was 2.5%. This is approximately the same rate as that seen in babies conceived from IVF or naturally.

 

What is the cost to freeze eggs?

Most insurance plans do not offer coverage for fertility treatments and egg freezing. The average cost for egg freezing is around $7,000, but additional fees should be considered, such as long-term egg storage.

 

How long are eggs kept in storage?

Eggs are often frozen as long as necessary, because they do not age with cryopreservation. There is no current time limitation requirements on egg freezing.