According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, an excellent Gynecologist from Mumbai, Egg freezing, occasionally known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a procedure that preserves a woman’s capacity to conceive in the future.
Your ovaries’ eggs are:
- Stored unfertilized for later use
- A frozen egg can be thawed in a laboratory
- Mixed with sperm
- Implanted in your uterus
Based on your needs and reproductive history, your specialist can aid you to learn:
- How egg freezing functions
- The possible hazards
- Whether this fertility preservation technique is correct for you
Why is it done?
“If you’re not ready to get pregnant right now but want to make sure you can get pregnant later, egg freezing may be an option,” says Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, Mumbai’s expert gynecologist.
Egg freezing does not need sperm, unlike fertilized egg freezing (embryo cryopreservation), as the eggs are not fertilized before they are frozen.
However, like with embryo freezing, you’ll require fertility medicines to induce ovulation and generate several eggs for retrieval.
If you’re thinking about freezing eggs, consider the following:
A Medical Issue or a Situation may Impact your fertility
These might include sickle cell anemia autoimmune diseases such as:
- Gender diversity, such as being transgender
It might be beneficial if you were receiving treatment for cancer or another illness that could compromise your ability to conceive.
Radiation or chemotherapy, for example, can harm your fertility. You might be able to have biological children later if you freeze your eggs before treatment.
Encountering in Vitro Fertilization
Some people choose egg freezing over embryo freezing when encountering in vitro fertilization for religious or moral reasons.
You’d like to save younger eggs for later use…
According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a leading gynecologist from Mumbai, when you freeze eggs at a younger age, you may be able to get pregnant when you’re ready.
You can use your frozen eggs in conjunction with sperm from a spouse or a sperm donor to produce a child.
A donation might be identified or remain anonymous. To carry the pregnancy, the embryo might potentially be put in the uterus of another individual (gestational carrier).
Freezing eggs has several drawbacks, including:
The usage of fertility medicines can cause a variety of problems…
Utilizing injectable fertility medications to stimulate ovulation, such as:
- A synthetic follicle-stimulating hormone
- Luteinizing hormone
It might cause your ovaries to become enlarged and painful immediately after ovulation or egg retrieval in rare cases (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome).
According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the following are the symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
The potential of getting a more severe version of the illness, which can be life-threatening, is even rarer.
Complications with the egg retrieval technique
On rare occasions, using an aspirating needle to remove eggs might result in:
- Damage to the colon
- Blood vessels
Egg freezing can give you hope for a future pregnancy, but it’s not a sure thing.
If you use your frozen eggs to start a family, your chances of having a miscarriage are determined mainly by your age at the time your eggs were frozen.
Miscarriage rates are higher in older women since their eggs are more aged.
To yet, there hasn’t been any evidence that egg freezing increases the chance of congenital disabilities in babies born.
However, more research into the safety of egg freezing is required.
How will you get prepared?
If you’re thinking about freezing your eggs, choose a reproductive clinic specializing in the procedure. Reproductive endocrinologists are a typical term for experts in this field.
Keep in mind that a clinic’s success rate is influenced by various factors, including the ages of the women it serves.
If the cost of egg freezing worries you, inquire about the prices of each phase of the operation as well as the annual storage fees.
You’ll probably have some screening blood tests before starting the egg-freezing process, including:
Ovarian Reserve Testing
On day three of your menstrual cycle, your doctor may test the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol in your blood to evaluate the quantity and quality of your eggs.
The results can be used to predict how your ovaries will react to fertility drugs.
Another blood test and an ultrasound of the ovaries may be done to gain a thorough picture of ovarian function.
Screening for infectious diseases
You’ll get tested for HIV and hepatitis B and C, as well as other contagious diseases.
What you may expect
Egg freezing has considerable steps —
- Ovarian stimulation
- Egg retrieval
Ovarian stimulation medications are among the medicines that may be required.
Instead of the single egg that develops monthly, you’ll take synthetic hormones to stimulate your ovaries to generate several eggs.
- Medications for ovarian stimulation (Follistim AQ, Gonal-f) or follitropin alfa or beta (Follistim AQ, Gonal-f) or Menotropins (Menopur) may be injected.
- Preventive ovulation medications include: Your doctor may give leuprolide acetate (Lupron Depot), an injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, or cetrorelix, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (Cetrotide).
Your doctor will keep an eye on you during treatment. Blood tests will be performed to assess your reaction to ovarian-stimulating medicines.
Estrogen levels rise as follicles mature, whereas progesterone levels remain low until ovulation.
Vaginal ultrasonography – a treatment that uses sound waves to create an image of the inside of your ovaries — will be used during follow-up visits to monitor the development of fluid-filled sacs where eggs mature (follicles).
An injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (Pregnyl, Ovidrel) or another drug might assist the eggs in maturing when the follicles are ready for egg retrieval, which usually takes 10 to 14 days.
Egg retrieval is usually performed under anesthesia at a doctor’s office or a clinic.
Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, in which an ultrasonography probe is placed into your vagina to detect the follicles, is a standard method.
A needle is then inserted into a follicle through the vaginal canal.
The egg is removed from the follicle using a suction device attached to the needle.
Multiple eggs can be extracted, and studies show that the more eggs retrieved every cycle — up to 15 — the better the odds of a successful pregnancy.
You may experience cramping after egg retrieval.
Because your ovaries are still swollen, you may experience fullness or pressure for several weeks.
Freezing the Egg
According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, among the best gynecologists from Mumbai, your unfertilized eggs are chilled to subzero temperatures shortly after being harvested to preserve them for future use.
An unfertilized egg’s nature makes it a little more difficult to freeze and lead to a healthy pregnancy than a fertilized egg’s (embryo).
The most popular method for freezing eggs is called vitrification.
Rapid cooling is combined with high quantities of chemicals that prevent ice crystals from forming during the freezing process (cryoprotectants).
The Procedure in Brief
Within a week of egg retrieval, you should be able to resume routine activities.
To avoid unwanted pregnancy, avoid unprotected intercourse.
Contact your health care provider if you have:
- A fever higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C)
- Abdominal discomfort
- In less than 24 hours, you gained more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg)
- Heavy vaginal bleeding — more than two pads filled per hour
- Urination problems
Your frozen eggs will be thawed, fertilized with sperm in a lab, and placed in your or a gestational carrier’s uterus when you’re ready to use them.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a fertilization treatment that your doctor may propose (ICSI).
ICSI involves injecting a single healthy sperm straight into each maturing egg.
According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a fantastic gynecologists from Mumbai, depending on your age at the time of egg freezing, your odds of becoming pregnant after implantation range from 30 to 60%.
The older you are when you freeze your eggs, the less likely you will have a live birth in the future.