INFORMATION ON OOCYTE (EGG) FREEZING
All women are at risk of losing their eggs due to aging, some medical conditions and related treatments or have premature ovarian failure or diminished ovarian reserve There are a number of specific indications for egg freezing:
- Medical reasons: Certain medical and surgical treatments (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy and oophorectomy) can run the risk of decreasing fertility and/or eliminating completely the chance of having any eggs available for childbearing. Egg freezing can be performed before certain medical treatments in an attempt to preserve some eggs for future use.
- Social reasons: Egg number and quality decrease with female age, more accelerated after the mid-30s. Not everyone finds the right partner at the right time in life. Egg freezing provides an opportunity to make some of these eggs available for future use.
- Egg number and quality decrease with female age, more accelerated after the mid-30s.
- Not everyone finds the right partner at the right time in life.
- Egg freezing provides an opportunity for future use.
Certain medical and surgical treatments (e.g. chemotherapy, radiotherapy and (oophorectomy) can lead to impaired fertility and/or eliminating completely the chance of having any eggs available for childbearing.
Egg freezing can be performed before certain medical treatments in an attempt to preserve some eggs for future use.
In standard donor egg or surrogate cycles, coordination of treatment requires all parties to be available at the critical time.
With the development of egg freezing, more flexibility becomes available in coordinating donor and surrogate cycles.
In rare circumstances, the male partner may not be able to provide a sperm sample on the day of egg collection in an IVF cycle. Success in egg freezing means that the eggs can be frozen for future use rather than wasted.
An alternate in this situation is TESA extraction of the sperm by a urologist
EGG FREEZING PROCESS
- Injections of reproductive hormones are used to increase the eggs available for collection
- Other medications are used to prevent ovulation before the egg collection procedure
- Doses of medication and timing of egg collection require monitoring of ovarian response by blood tests and ultrasounds as for standard IVF. The process of obtaining eggs for cryopreservation is also the same as standard IVF treatment
- ovarian response from this induced stimulation can vary from being vigorous with a number if eggs or few
- Studies in young women under 30 years old show that the likelihood of pregnancy resulting from frozen-thawed eggs is the same as that from fresh eggs following IVF treatment.
- However, there is less experience with frozen-thawed oocytes obtained from older women.
- Studies to date do not show additional risks of birth defects in pregnancies resulting from frozen-thawed oocytes.
- To improve the chance of achieving a pregnancy in the future, going through a number of IVF cycles may be considered to increase the number of mature eggs available for future use. This will all depend on the number of eggs collected in each attempt.
USE OF EGGS IN THE FUTURE
- you have decreased ovarian reserve,
- you no longer have eggs (peri-menopause), or
- you have infertility that is not responding to fertility treatments
- You will meet with your doctor at GFRM to discuss the treatment process.
- To achieve a pregnancy, IVF-related procedures are required –
- the eggs harvested and cryopreserved would later be thawed and fertilized in a laboratory setting.
- At this time, research shows that the best way to fertilize eggs that have been frozen is by injecting a single sperm into each of the eggs in a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
- Your doctor at GFRM will discuss with you the number of eggs to be thawed, prescribe hormones and assess the lining of your womb before putting the fertilized eggs (embryos) into your uterus.
- In some cases abnormalities in the uterus may prevent you from carrying a pregnancy In these instances, the embryos are transferred to the uterus of another woman (gestational carrier) that you have arranged and who has undergone appropriate counseling and medical assessment to carry your pregnancy.
RISKS OF FREEZING AND THAWING YOUR EGGS:
There is no guarantee that any eggs harvested and frozen will survive freezing and thawing, and result in successful fertilization, embryo development and pregnancy. There are controversies on whether the rate of birth defects is higher in infants conceived through IVF+/-ICSI than that of infants conceived naturally, and in addition, whether these concerns are associated directly with IVF+/-ICSI or related to the characteristics of couples with infertility. Studies to date do not show additional risks from using frozen-thawed oocytes. As with any pregnancy, no guarantee can be given that the fetus (child) will be normal.
LONG TERM STORAGE
Storage of Eggs at GFRM is not a long term storage facility. Due to space limiting factors, we are only able to store eggs for a maximum of 5 years. If you do not wish to use the eggs within 5 years, we will assist you to coordinate the transport to a long term storage facility. There is however an extra charge for shipment and storage that should be factored into decisions when planning treatment.