EGG FREEZING -The Need Of Hour Today

Author : Dr.Monica Sachdeva
Date : 08 Jan 2020

                              EGG FREEZING -Need Of Hour Today

When a patient has eggs collected and frozen with the intention of using them in the future,we call it "Egg Freezing". The possibility of healthy women to cryopreserve i.e freeze their oocytes in order to counter future infertility has gained momentum in recent years.

Women are freezing their own eggs for two primary reasons. Firstly, because they are undergoing medical treatment (such as chemotherapy), or have other medical conditions which reduce fertility, and want to preserve their eggs for use at a future date. Secondly, for elective (or social) reasons where women are opting to preserve their fertility as a way of increasing their chances of having a biologically-related child later in life.

Q1.At what age should a woman undergo egg freezing?

Ans. The evidence suggests that if eggs are frozen below the age of 35, the chances of success using these frozen eggs is higher than the natural conception rate as the woman gets older. If  40-year-old women resort to social freezing in a desperate attempt to ‘save’ their fertility, it will hardly produce any positive results.

Q2. Why is egg freezing gaining prominence nowadays?

Ans.  Egg freezing is a treatment that may be offered for a variety of reasons, which are often split into two categories: medical and non-medical (often called ‘elective’ or ‘social’ egg freezing).

 (i) Medical egg freezing Egg freezing techniques were originally developed for use in medical egg freezing, as it offered younger patients the opportunity to preserve their eggs for future use. The main medical reason for egg freezing is for patients who are diagnosed with cancer that may affect their fertility due to chemotherapy or the removal of reproductive organs. Other medical reasons include patients who are undergoing gender reassignment or other conditions such as severe endometriosis.

(ii) Elective egg freezing In cases of elective egg freezing, women do not necessarily have a known medical problem that puts them at a higher risk of infertility, but they want to increase their chances of having a child later in life when the quality of fresh eggs will have deteriorated. However, success rates show egg freezing does not represent a definitive solution to delayed reproduction, particularly for patients who do not freeze their eggs until their late 30s and 40s.

Q3.What is the procedure of "egg freezing"?

Ans. The process involves stimulating, collecting, freezing and then storing a woman’s eggs. The way eggs are collected for egg freezing is the same as IVF and involves injecting hormones to stimulate the ovaries over a few weeks to produce multiple eggs. When the eggs have matured, they are collected from the patient and then frozen. Typically, the process takes around two weeks

Q4.Any tests required before egg freezing?

Ans.Detailed counselling of  candidate  about their reproductive options is done and  to take into consideration a number of variables such as age, family history of premature ovarian failure are taken into onsideration.Ovarian reserve is measured by antral follicle count or AMH testing.

Q5.What will happen to frozen eggs later on?

Ans. When a woman uses frozen eggs in an IVF treatment cycle this is referred to as ‘egg thawing’. The frozen eggs being thawed and used in treatment can either be a patient’s own eggs or from a donor. The eggs are thawed and then fertilised through a procedure called ‘intracytoplasmic sperm injection’ (ICSI), where sperm is injected directly into the egg with a needle. If fertilised, the embryo is transferred to the woman’s uterus.

There are a number of factors that affect success rates in egg thaw treatment cycles, most notably the age of the patient when their own. This means it matters far less what age a woman is when she uses the eggs; what is more important is the age the patient is when the eggs are frozen.

This novel tecnhique of egg freezing and thawing has made a women to make choice when she wants to be a mother.Especially this is a boon for those women undergoing cancer treatment  or surgery for severe endometriosis.