These days women getting married in their early 20’s is very rare as most are now ambitious & career-driven. They have no objections to putting off motherhood until they reach the 30’s. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has not been kind to women. After the age of 30 the quality of eggs produced by a woman starts dropping and by the age of 35 they start deteriorating drastically. Whilst on the other hand men can continue producing sperm well into their 50’s.
Women now have the option of freezing their eggs – which involves egg extraction, freezing and storage. These eggs can later be thawed for them to use in 30’s or even 40’s. Egg freezing offers a chance for women diagnosed with cancer to preserve their eggs prior to chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Majority of these treatments lead to infertility.
How does Egg Freezing work?
It will take between 4-6 weeks for the egg freezing cycle to complete. The patient has to go through intense screening prior to the procedure. Below are the steps carried out for the procedure of egg freezing:
Drugs are given to women to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs (superovulation)
Egg harvesting and identification:
Mature eggs are removed with a needle placed through the vagina under ultrasound guidance. General anesthesia is used to perform this procedure.
Preparation for egg freezing:
At Aarti Fertility & Gynae Clinic, a fast-freezing technique called vitrification is used to cool the egg, so that the egg is frozen before water crystals can form. This preserves the eggs in a glass-like state (hence ‘vitrified’). Evidence shows that this technique leads to better survival rates for the eggs.
After vitrification, the eggs are stored in tubes in a liquid nitrogen storage tank which keeps the eggs in a frozen state at -196 degree Celsius.
Please click on link below to view video on Egg Freezing through Vitrification – 3D
Please click on link below to view video on the Human Egg Freezing Project
How many eggs can be stored?
This solely depends upon the woman’s response to the superovulation drugs and how many eggs a woman can produce. Some eggs may not be able to survive the thawing process and hence are unsuitable for fertilization, it is therefore important to store as many eggs as possible without putting the woman at risk of ovarian hyper stimulation.
Is egg freezing safe?
A lot of research has been carried out to see how safe it is to freeze eggs. It has been identified that there is no real increase in rate of birth defects in children born out of frozen eggs compared to natural fertilization.
Cost of egg freezing
Costs will vary from country to country, but here in India freezing can cost between Rs.20,000 – Rs.80,000,depending upon the number of eggs to be stored. Find out by contacting us how we can freeze your eggs both efficiently and affordably.
Couples choose to freeze sperms for many reasons. Sperms can be frozen for use in the future for either artificial insemination/ other fertility treatments or can be donated for a good cause. The standard storage period for sperm freezing is normally 10 years. It can be extended only in few a circumstances, up to a maximum of 55 years.
Why is sperm frozen?
It’s important to remember that sperms can be frozen so that you can use it for treatment in the future. This is important for men who are about to undergo vasectomy and in some cases men who have a very low sperm count or their sperms are deteriorating in quality. During treatment some men may find it difficult to produce a semen sample and hence frozen sperms will be used to aid fertilization. Some men wish to donate their sperms for research purposes. In some cases men will freeze their sperms because they have a medical condition that may result in fertility issues later in life eg. Klinefelter syndrome or they may be facing treatment for cancer.
Please click on link below to view video on Sperm Freezing
What is embryo freezing and storage?
During in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual. These are then fertilised with your partner’s, or a donor’s sperm to create embryos.
Because there is normally a number of unused embryos, some people choose to freeze the good quality unused embryos for use in later treatment cycles or for donation.
Is embryo storage for you?
You may consider freezing your unused embryos for the following reasons:
• It gives you the option of using the embryos in future IVF or ICSI cycles, without having to go through the risks, expense and inconvenience of using fertility drugs and undergoing egg collection again.
• If your treatment needs to be cancelled after egg collection (for example, if you have a bad reaction to fertility drugs), you may still be able to store your embryos for future use.
• You want to donate your unused embryos for the treatment of other women or for research.
• You are facing medical treatment, such as for cancer , that may affect your fertility, (embryo freezing is currently the most effective way for women to preserve their fertility).
How much control do you have over what happens to my embryos?
Before the storage process begins, your clinic will ask you to sign consent forms. The forms allow you to specify:
• How long you want the embryos to be stored (the standard period is ten years)
• What should happen to your embryos if you or your partner were to die or become unable to make decisions for yourself
• Whether the embryos are to be used for your own treatment only, or whether they can be donated for someone else’s treatment, or used for research
What is your chance of having a baby using frozen embryos?
Due to the freezing and thawing process, your chances of having a baby using a thawed frozen embryo are relatively lower than with a fresh embryo. Your chances of becoming pregnant with a thawed frozen embryo are not affected by the length of time the embryo has been stored for.
What are the risks of freezing embryos?
Not all embryos will survive freezing and eventual thawing when they come to be used. Very occasionally no embryos will survive. It is not uncommon for those embryos that do survive freezing and thawing to lose a cell or two. Ideally the embryos should continue to divide between thawing and transfer.
There is no evidence suggesting a risk to patients or to children born from frozen embryos.