Many women are ready to have children at later stages of their life because they wish to grow their careers or any other social and economic reason. Women are most fertile for childbearing when they are under 35, but if you are not ready to become pregnant at this stage of your life, cryopreservation may be the solution for you.
According to the HFEA in the UK, Egg preservation is the fastest growing treatment in the UK. Increasing at 10% in 2017.
Who should consider Egg Freezing
You should be aware that ovarian reserves decrease as age increases. In simple words, “you can’t stop the clock ticking”
If you are between the age 30-35 and you are not ready to become pregnant, Oocyte Cryopreservation might be something to consider.
If at this time of your life you have not met the right partner to create a family, or you have career commitments or educational opportunities which make it difficult to consider childbearing, oocyte cryopreservation (Egg Freezing) may be a suitable solution for you.
Oocyte cryopreservation is also to be considered if you must undergo chemotherapy/radiotherapy, since these treatments often destroy oocytes, leading to infertility.
Progressive loss of oocytes is a normal process. A female infant is born with 1-2 million oocytes and by the age of 37 this number falls to 25,000.
Age also affects oocyte quality; There is a correlation with women over the age of 37 and higher risk of genetic abnormalities in the embryo. Having oocytes frozen at a younger age is valuable if you decide to have children at a later time. However, bear in mind that having frozen eggs in storage is not a guarantee to a successful pregnancy although it gives you a greater chance.
If a you produce supernumerary oocytes during an IVF cycle, it is most likely that you will not need all of them. You could freeze some of the eggs for additional IVF cycles or if you wish to delay parenthood of more children.
Some couples may have ethical or religious limitations on the number of embryos to be created during a fertility treatment, and so cryopreservation would mitigate that dilemma for them.
1. There is no risk to the child or mother
Several scientific studies have confirmed that there is NO evidence for increased health/genetic risks, adverse obstetric or perinatal events when using cryopreserved oocytes.
2. Established Procedure with Good Pregnancy Rates
Clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of oocyte cryo-banking have demonstrated that Fresh Vs. Frozen eggs showed comparable success rates of ongoing pregnancies.
In addition, the American Society of Human Reproduction and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology have formally approved vitrification of oocytes as an established procedure in embryology labs.
3. No significant Oocyte loss
Scientific advances have optimized the oocyte freezing protocol to yield oocyte survival rates of more than 90%.
4. Storage time
The standard storage period for eggs is normally 10 years, as per the EU legislation. This period can be exceeded in certain circumstances, after approval from the Cypriot Board of Medically Assisted Reproduction.
- You will be prepared for oocyte retrieval through a controlled ovarian stimulation therapy that is supervised by your doctor.
- You will take medication in order to produce more eggs in your cycle. These hormonal injections are given by subcutaneous injection (just under the skin) for 9-12 days.
- These injections help you to produce more follicles in order to succeed in producing embryos. Each program is suited to the requirements of the patient and adjusted according to her response to the medication.
- You can be taught to give yourself the injections or have someone else do it for you. It is also possible to have your injections done at our clinic. Your progress is monitored by ultrasound and blood hormone tests.
- It is very important to carefully follow instructions regarding your medication.
- Based on the size and development of the follicles, the doctor will decide the date of the egg collection. When your eggs are ready to be retrieved, you will be instructed to take an injection which triggers ovulation. This injection is given approximately 36 hours before egg collection, also known as Ovum Pickup (OPU). It is very important to administer the injection at the proper time. The OPU will take place 36 hours later, usually in the morning.
- From midnight until the time of OPU which is scheduled in the morning, you must not eat or drink anything. This is extremely important since the OPU will have to be cancelled if something is eaten.
- You will be told the exact time to be at the clinic for your OPU. The procedure only takes about 10-15 minutes and the anesthesiologist will give you light sedation so you will feel no discomfort. After the procedure, you will be able to rest for an hour until you feel well enough to go home.
- Before you leave, we will provide you with a detailed written plan of what medications to take. It is very important not to stop any medication until you are advised by the doctor.
- Collected oocytes are vitrified and stored in the embryology lab under controlled storage conditions. When oocytes are needed, they are thawed, fertilized in a culture dish and transferred to the uterus as embryos when they are ready.
Do not hesitate to contact the clinic should you have any queries regarding your medication