Egg freezing is becoming increasingly common for women. A new egg freezing technique known as vitrification, associated with better egg survival rates. This process preserves tissue in a glass-like 'frozen' state without the formation of ice crystals.
A new egg freezing technique known as vitrification, associated with better egg survival rates. This process preserves tissue in a glass-like 'frozen' state without the formation of ice crystals which can be damaging to the tissue.
In the past reasons for freezing eggs have mainly been for medical fertility preservation before undertaking cancer treatment, however, social implications such as demanding careers and insecure relationships have made freezing of eggs a preferred option as opposed to finding it is 'too late' when ready to embark on the journey of becoming a parent.
Your fertility specialist will provide you with likely success rates based on your personal circumstances.
The process involves the ovaries being stimulated via hormone injections to produce extra eggs which are then collected via a needle inserted into the vagina guided by an ultrasound probe.
The eggs are then prepared for the 'flash-freezing by being dehydrated and treated with a type of 'antifreeze'
Once the eggs are prepared they are vitrified by rapidly freezing in liquid nitrogen.
Eggs are then stored for up to 10 years until they are required, at which point they are thawed and inserted into the womb after fertilisation by IVF.
It is difficult to predict the chances of a successful pregnancy using stored eggs, age, reproductive history and general health at the time of egg freezing will be important factors.
It is unlikely that every egg will survive the freezing and thawing process and it is important that the costs and risks are considered when deciding to store your eggs for future use. Professional counselling should be available to ensure that you understand what is involved.