Egg freezing is a method to preserve a woman’s eggs so that they can be used later to have a family. The eggs are collected and frozen, they are then thawed and used later in a fertility treatment.
Why does one need egg freezing?
If a woman is not ready to become pregnant now but wants to get pregnant later egg freezing is done. As a woman gets older, her chances of conceiving decreases. This is because with age the quality and the number of eggs decreases. Therefore egg freezing is done at an early age so that the eggs are of the highest quality.
Egg freezing doesn’t require sperm. Eggs aren’t fertilized before storing. Hence fertility drugs are given so that a woman can ovulate and produce multiple eggs.
What is the preparation of egg freezing?
A woman considering for freezing eggs would look for a fertility clinic with expertise. The expenses of freezing eggs, is also an important factor to note. The cost includes the cost of the procedure and the annual storage fees.
Different tests are done to determine the quality and quantity of eggs. Blood tests and ultrasounds are done to check the functions of the ovaries.
What is the procedure?
The doctor will test for infectious diseases like Hepatitis and HIV to check for the affected samples and prevent the contamination of other samples.
During the treatment, the doctor will monitor the Estrogens and progesterone levels. Follow-up visits are needed for having vaginal ultrasounds to monitor the development of fluid-filled sacs where eggs mature.
Egg retrieval is done in the doctors clinic. In this process an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to identify the follicles. A needle is inserted and with the help of a suction device to remove eggs from the follicle. Generally around 12 to 15 eggs are retrieved per cycle. Freezing of eggs – Eggs are then frozen by process called verifications. These eggs are then stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen.
The time that the eggs have to be used, they are thawed and the eggs that have
survived intact are injected back with the partners or donors sperms.
Who would benefit?
One of the most important benefits of egg freezing is that it allows women’s fertility to “catch up” with modern lives.Egg freezing is considered by women who:
- Preserve eggs at a young age – These days women have more options professionally, socially and educationally. Women who wish to have a family at a later stage and are worried about their fertility can freeze eggs and get pregnant when ready.
- Medical Treatment that affects fertility – A woman who has to undergo a medical treatment like radiations or chemotherapy for cancer that affects fertility. Having biological children after the treatment is possible with egg freezing.
- Risk of injury – if a woman is in such a job that she is at a risk of injury (in army) the option of egg freezing can be considered.
Costs and side effectThere is no evidence of long - term health impacts after egg freezing.Egg freezing has certain side effects that include:
- In rare cases due to injectable fertility drugs, ovaries swell and become painful soon after ovulation or egg retrieval. These symptoms are usually mild. A few other symptoms also include abdominal pain, difficulty in urinating, heavy vaginal bleeding, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- The use of the egg retrieval needle may rarely cause discomfort, bleeding an infection or damage.
- Egg retrieval may cause a hope for future pregnancy but doesn’t guarantee a success.
- The average cost of egg freezing cycle includes the cost of egg collection. Plus the cost of medication, the cost of egg storage per year and also the cost of thaw cycle and embryo transfer. By this we can conclude that egg freezing has comparatively very high costs.