Egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation is a method of fertility preservation where a woman’s eggs are harvested, frozen and stored. In this procedure eggs are extracted from the ovaries, which are stored and then preserved for future use.
Women with certain medical conditions required to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery which could affect the functioning of the ovaries take egg freezing into consideration. Couples who plan to delay parenthood also opt for this medical procedure.
Once the eggs are extracted, their maturity is assessed under a microscope, and those eggs that are mature are cryopreserved. Storing the eggs for longer duration does not appear to have negative effects. When one chooses to use their frozen eggs, they are thawed, fertilized with sperm in a lab, and implanted in the patient or a gestational carrier uterus.
Frequently Asked Questions on Egg Freezing :
- Who should consider egg freezing?
Egg freezing is beneficial for women wishing to preserve their fertility for the future including: Women who want to delay starting a family in order to pursue educational, career or other personal goals , Women diagnosed with cancer or tumour and need chemotherapy , Women who prefer egg freezing over embryo freezing
- When should a woman ideally freeze her eggs?
The answer to egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation is that a woman should opt for it during her prime reproductive years —20s and early 30s — to take advantage of quality and quantity. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have, and over time they diminish in number and quality. This decline explains why a woman in her 40s has only a 5 percent chance for becoming pregnant each month.
- How is it done?
In order to retrieve eggs for freezing, a patient undergoes the same hormone-injection process as in-vitro fertilization. The only difference is that following egg retrieval, they are frozen for a period of time before they are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos. It takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete the egg freezing cycle and is consistent with the initial stages of the IVF process.
- Insemination or ICSI is conducted on the day of egg collection.
- Based on the quality and available number of embryos, they are transferred 2-5 days after egg collection.
- How many eggs should be preserved for future pregnancy?
If 10 eggs are frozen, 7 are expected to survive the thaw, and 5 to 6 are expected to fertilize and become embryos. Usually 3-4 embryos are transferred in women up to 38 years of age. We therefore recommend that 10 eggs be stored for each pregnancy attempt. Most women 38 years of age and under can expect to harvest 10- 20 eggs per cycle.
ERA is a genetic test that evaluates the expression of genes to evaluate whether the endometrial lining
is properly developed to accept an embryo. This technique helps evaluate the woman’s endometrial
receptivity from a molecular perspective. ERA indicates the window of implantation (WOI), increasing
your chances of successful embryo transfer. An endometrium is receptive when it is ready for the
embryo implantation. This occurs around days 19-21 in each menstrual cycle of a fertile woman.
ERA helps reveal the patient’s personalized window to determine the best time during their cycle that
the uterus is most receptive, allowing the embryo to stick and grow. This analysis can be completed
before starting assisted fertility treatment, IVF.
Why ERA ?
ERA is performed on those patients who have repeat implantation failure.
This test is also conducted for those patients who are having atrophic endometrial and never reaches
their thickness at 6mm consistently.