Egg freezing or as people call it, the preservation of woman’s oocytes is a recently developed procedure, the first birth from cryopreserved woman’s biological material was recorded back in 1986 but elective (social) freezing of woman’s oocytes aiming at the preservation of woman’s fertility has become popular in 2012 due to the need or desire of women to delay the moment to become mother and minimize risks of possible difficulties with getting pregnant in the future. Nowadays, there are a lot of medical facilities offering this type of service for women of different ages in all corners of the world.
What is exactly meant by egg freezing?
The procedure in the first place aims at the induction of the follicle growth with their further retrieval. During this period woman gives herself hormone injections on a daily basis for around twelve days. This medication will induce the growth of follicles and at the specific day Doctor collects them by using special needle and under the ultrasound observation. Then, all good quality eggs will be vitrified and kept in a clinic until woman decides or will be able to use them. This is all done to warm them when the right time comes as one decides to postpone her motherhood in this way for a reason.
Who may consider undergoing this procedure?
There are different reasons for women to try this type of assisted reproductive technologies. Here are the most frequent ones:
- Medical reason. Due to a specific medical reason a woman may face the fact that if she doesn’t decide to preserve her fertility now, there won’t be big chances to have a biological baby in the future. Such medical states include cancer, the cases of premature ovarian failure in the family, etc.
- Not right time. Egg freezing has become a way to postpone time when woman will be immersed in motherhood. Some women do not want to feel the pressure of the advanced age and do oocyte preservation to come back to this question at the right time in their lives.
- Personal reasons. You may not be sure if you are willing to become a mother one day but do not want to lose this chance and have options. Some of them explain this intention by the absence of a right partner at this point of their lives.
What are the stages of egg freezing?
If you have a strong determination to go for the oocyte cryopreservation, the first thing you need to do is to get a consultation on this subject from a specialist. Doctor will create the plan of action and will prepare you for the main part in this process – the induction of superovulation. Your fertility specialist will also check your hormone levels and assess your ovarian reserve in order to prescribe you the individual dosage of medication.
Your journey will start at the beginning of your menstrual cycle and will involve daily injections for around two weeks. Any woman who is undergoing this type of stimulation is coming for check-ups and blood tests at least three times during this time. The next stage is the egg retrieval, which is minimally invasive and is done while you are asleep and don’t feel anything. Under the ultrasound guidance, doctor aspirates follicles from the ovaries by using the aspiration needle. Then, all your eggs, together with the follicular fluid go to embryology and embryologists clear them from this liquid.
Your last step will be the cryopreservation of mature eggs. The vitrification is a method used for these purposes. It allows to cryopreserve biological material (such as eggs, sperm or embryos) without the risk of damaging it unlike the slow method of cryopreservation used in the past.
One of the great advantages of doing this procedure in Ukraine is the freezing eggs cost as well as the price for their storage in comparison with other countries. In addition, you can always be sure they are stored in a cryobank according to all the international regulations and protocols.
The most common age for freezing your eggs is between your 30s and 40s. Nevertheless, it can be very individual and requires recommendation and help from the specialist.