Elective Egg Freezing Gives Women Freedom to Wait before Starting a Family
If advancing age or pending medical conditions put your future fertility at risk, then consider egg freezing to allow you to preserve your family-planning options for the coming years. Technological advances enable our reproductive endocrinologists to preserve a moment in time by harvesting and freezing your eggs for use when you are ready to start a family.
Buying Time for Big Changes
There are many personal reasons why women choose egg freezing but the main reason is to stop the biological clock. Advancing maternal age presents many problems for getting pregnant.
Many women realize that they are not ready to have children when they are in their most fertile years. Freezing eggs and storing them for future use allow women to focus on their education, career or finding the right partner. Even though many women can carry a pregnancy into their 50s, the quality of women’s eggs begins diminishing in their 30s.
How Science Supports Egg Freezing
Technological advances have increased the success rates of freezing eggs for future use. The egg (oocyte) cryopreservation process, like IVF, requires ovarian stimulation with injectable fertility medications. When mature, the eggs are retrieved during an in-office procedure.
Next, the eggs undergo a special vitrification procedure to replace the water in the eggs with a special protective solution before freezing. In the past, due to freezing the water content of an egg, expanding ice crystals would damage the egg’s cellular structure. A cryoprotectant is carefully used to replace the water within the cell to stop the formation of these ice crystals.
Recent studies have shown that IVF done with eggs frozen with vitrification results in the same pregnancy rates as using a fresh egg. Some studies have shown even better pregnancy rates.
When our patients are ready to start their families, we suggest that they plan to use 10 eggs (not fertilized embryos) per pregnancy attempt. A few of these eggs will survive the thaw process better than others, and the eggs with the best prospects will be chosen for fertilization.
If you are considering options to delay starting a family or have a major medical procedure pending and want to learn more about egg freezing, please let us help.
Contact Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates to schedule a consultation.