Oocyte Freezing

With an increase in age the probability of conceiving reduces, more so because of the deterioration in the quantity and quality of oocytes. Till now Oocyte or Egg freezing was not practiced routinely as the process were not standardized and there was not enough data to support Egg Freezing as a routine practice. This has now changed and there is enough evidence to support safety and efficacy of egg freezing as a routine procedure for preservation of fertility for women.

At Indore Infertility Clinic and IVF Center, we have both the experience and the capability to freeze eggs as a routine practice.

Innovations in Egg Freezing and latest techniques

We have an established Fertility Preservation Programme. We delivered our first cryopreserved oocyte baby in 2016 and have moved over from the old slow freeze protocol to the more efficacious Vitrification protocol as Vitrification or Rapid Freeze is associated with a much better retrieval rate as this eliminates the formation of ice crystals.

More than 6,000 babies have been born world wide from frozen egg IVF cycles and the number is growing steadily because it is now considered both safe and effective.

Frozen eggs have grabbed headlines in recent years due to many celebrities (like Diana Hayden and Jennifer Frappier) opting for the same.

Frequently Asked Questions About Egg or Oocyte Freezing

We understand your concerns about techniques that are relatively new and hopefully you will find all answers to your queries in the following Frequently Asked Questions section.

Q. When shall we consider Oocyte/Egg Freezing?

  • Women who wish to delay child bearing due to professional reasons, career goals or personal reasons. Number of oocytes and quality of oocytes deteriorates with increasing age. Keeping this in mind, if professionally driven   females decide to postpone childbearing, oocyte freezing can be considered.With an increase in age, not only do the chances of pregnancy decrease, but it is also associated with an increased rate of miscarriages and the risk of  chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome. Therefore to freeze eggs at the right time of reproductive life is a reasonable option.
  • Women diagnosed with malignancy or cancer needing to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy Most cancer associated treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy lead to destruction of eggs. This side effect of egg destruction may be reversible or irreversible and cannot be predicted. Therefore if somebody is diagnosed with a cancer, and is desirous of child bearing in the future, preservation of fertility by oocyte freezing is a viable option.
  • Family History of Early Menopause In some families, menopause occurs at an early age which is known as premature ovarian failure. Ladies with such a family history can opt for oocyte freezing as it gives these ladies an opportunity to preserve their fertility before depletion of eggs occurs.

Q. When would be the best time to Freeze Eggs?

Peak reproductive years are in the womans’ 20’s and early 30’s. This is the age when the egg quantity and quality both will be the best.At this age, it is quite understandable that egg freezing would be the last thing on the mind of most women therefore whenever one realizes that conceiving is not a priority, the sooner they freeze, the better.

If you are sure that you want a baby one day but are worried that you’re biological clock is not on your side or that you’ve not met the right person, that is when you should think of getting egg freezing done. Basic fertility assessment is done by many tools including Antral follicle count and Anti Mullerian Hormone and these tests can be done to give a clearer picture about the ovarian reserve. In short, The sooner the better

Q. What is the Process of Egg Freezing ?

The initial steps are the same as outlined in our IVF section: Stimulating the ovaries – Super Ovulation Collecting the Eggs – Egg Retrieval (See IVF Cycle Details) After these two steps, the eggs are frozen. The process of freezing currently followed at Indore Infertility Clinic and IVF Center is known as Vitrification.

Q. For how long can the eggs be stored and how can the Eggs be used later on?

At the moment, law states that eggs, sperms and embryo’s can be stored for a period of five years. However this is maximum time limit is continuously being increased with more and more evidence supporting safety of the procedure. When the lady wishes to become pregnant, the eggs are thawed (Brought to normal state), injected with partners sperms and the resulting embryo is transferred back into the uterus.

Q. How many eggs are required ?

On an average our aim is to store atleast 10 eggs. This is based on a reverse calculation of worldwide and center specific retrieval rates. If 10 oocytes are stored, 7-8 are expected to survive the freezing and thawing process and out of 7-8 viable oocytes 5-6 embryos can be expected therefore giving approximately 50-60 % pregnancy rates. Most women under the age of 38 can be expected to develop 10-12 oocytes when upon satisfactory superovulation.

Q. Is Egg Freezing Safe ??

More than 6000 babies have been born worldwide using this technique and there are many studies proving that it is a safe technique. References to these studies have been given below in the resources section.The largest study of 900 babies has shown that the risk of complications in the baby or mother is no higher than the normal population and because of the data, most reproductive medicine societies across the globe have accepted egg freezing as a standard practice.

Resources:

  • 1.Mature oocyte cryopreservation: a guideline. Practice Committees of American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Fertil Steril 2013;99:37–43.
  • 2.Rienzi L, Romano S, Albricci L, Maggiulli R, Capalbo A, Baroni E, et al. Embryo development of fresh ‘versus’ vitrified metaphase II oocytes after ICSI: a prospective randomized sibling-oocyte study. Hum Reprod 2010;25:66–73. [PubMed]
  • 3.Parmegiani L, Cognigni GE, Bernardi S, Cuomo S, Ciampaglia W, Infante FE, et al. Efficiency of aseptic open vitrification and hermetical cryostorage of human oocytes. Reprod Biomed Online 2011;23:505–12. [PubMed]

In case you wish to ask something else, Please feel free to contact us.