Egg Freezing (Oocyte Cryopreservation)

What is Egg Freezing?

Egg Freezing is a technique where in mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and cooled to sub zero temperatures and stored for future use.

Indications of egg freezing
  • 1. Women sometimes, have to focus on their careers and want to conceive at a later stage. But as the female age advances, the egg count and quality decreases. This makes it more difficult to conceive, with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriages.
  • 2. Women who have not found the right partner and their biological age is ticking away, may consider to freeze egg at younger age
  • 3. Women diagnosed with cancers and have not completed family yet may freeze egg prior to commencing cancer therapy
  • 4. Prior to surgery to ovaries that can reduce her ovarian reserve

Steps in egg freezing

Step 1

The couple has to attend a counseling session with our doctors and counselors to understand the process and pros and cons of the procedure.

Step 2

We first perform blood tests and ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve before the ovaries can be simulated.

Step 3

Ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs by giving gonadotropin hormone injections. These injections need to be given for 8- 10 days depending on the patient’s response. During the treatment the patient is closely monitored to understand the response to the medications via vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests.

Step 4

Egg retrieval or ovum pick up is done wherein the eggs are collected from the ovaries. It is done under light general anesthesia in OT. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes for the procedure. The patient is discharged on the same day, about 4-6 hours after the procedure. It is done under transvaginal ultrasound guidance, wherein the fluid from all the developing follicles in the ovary is aspirated and handed over to the embryologist to look for the eggs. Once the eggs are retrieved, their maturity is tested and the completely mature eggs are cooled at sub-zero temperatures to preserve for future use.

What are the chances of pregnancy after egg freezing?

We use the latest technique called vitrification for egg freezing, which gives excellent results. With this technique eggs can be frozen for several years. When needed, the frozen eggs are thawed, fertilized with husband’s sperm and the developing embryo can then be inserted into the uterus. The chances of pregnancy following embryo transfer are generally good but are dependent on the age of the patient at the time of egg freezing.

Risks to the women or child born out of frozen eggs

It is relatively simple and safe procedure and with close monitoring there are no major risks to the women undergoing stimulation and egg collection. There is a large number of babies born worldwide using this technique and studies have shown that there are no additional risks of either chromosomal or other abnormalities in these babies when compared to general population.

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