Oocyte And Embryo Freezing
The desire to have children and carry forward one’s lineage is a very strong emotion. There are various medical, circumstantial, and personal reasons why people cannot have children. Of course, People also choose not to have children for professional reasons. In all such situations, The modern technological advancements in medical science provides all these people with child bearing opportunities.
Anyone who studied high school biology knows that child reproduction requires the male’s sperm and females ovulating eggs. The sperm has to fertilize the egg using natural means or through artificial insemination. The fertilized egg develops into the embryo and grows into a child inside the woman’s womb or uterus. The modern and advanced techniques in Oocyte or egg cryopreservation and embryo freezing offer all the above mentioned people a good chance to overcome their infertility problems.
Egg and Embryo Preservation Criteria
The following factors play a very significant role in making a choice regarding preservation of eggs and embryos .
- Age of the women whose eggs are extracted for storing.
- Availibilty of the facility . male partner and the time duration involved.
- Cost of freezing procedures in the concerned country.
- The success percentage of frozen eggs or the frozen embryo transfers.
- Pregnancy risks and other long term consequences for mother.
- The IVF related risks and other potential problems for the child.
Oocyte Cryopreservation or egg retrieval and storage through freezing is performed using the following IVF related process:
- Stimulate the ovaries using hormones to make multiple eggs mature and ripe.
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist is used to perform the final maturity induction procedure.
- The patient is sedated as a precautionary step for egg removal.
- The oocyte retrieval is performed using a surgical needle and ultrasound equipment in the operating room.
- A transvaginal removal of eggs using suction needle prevents organ damage.
- Cryoprotectants are utilized for dehydrating the retrieved eggs and prevent crystal formation in the future.
- The eggs are immediately frozen and stored in a controlled environment.
Egg Freezing Benefits
The egg freezing procedure has many benefits and advantages such as-
- Lowers time pressure and increases fertility freedom for the woman.
- A genetically related child can be had in the future as a single parent.
- Reduced dependency on sperm donor’s assistance and support.
- Avoid ineffective fertility improvement treatments at a mature age.
- Emotional stability and freedom from guilt, depression, or self-criticism.
- Ensures freedom for women in academics and professional life.
Oocyte Cryopreservation Risks
The risks and disadvantages associated with egg freezing should not be neglected at any cost:
- Invasive procedure
- Duration of treatment approximately 2-3 wks.
- High costs can lead to commercial over-use putting more pressure on women.
- Success is not guaranteed.