Egg freezing is a process where multiple eggs are stimulated to grow in the ovary, extracted, frozen and then stored for future use. Egg freezing gives women the freedom to delay childbearing until they desire or maintain their reproductive capacity in the face of fertility-threatening conditions. The concept of egg freezing is not a new one. However, recent advances in the freezing techniques have dramatically improved success.
The following is a list of some of the situations in which egg freezing should be considered:
When you’re considering freezing your eggs, there are two main determinants of the likelihood of success:
For the freezing technique, we employ vitrification, a process where eggs are cooled to a frozen state in an ultra-rapid fashion with liquid nitrogen. This is contrasted to the older technique known as “slow freezing” where eggs were cooled with lengthy computer-driven protocols. The key advantage to vitrification is the lack of ice crystal formation, an event that can irreversibly damage the eggs. Ice crystal formation was the main hurdle encountered with slow freeze techniques.
Just as in spontaneous and assisted conception, chronological age of the female is a key component to success. Further prognostics can be gained from an antral follicle count-an ultrasound assessment of the number of eggs on the surface of the ovary. These two pieces of information help us to counsel you on the chance of success with egg freezing. Although an official evaluation as an established patient is required to understand your individual potential, the following are some general guidelines for candidacy with egg freezing:
Age less than 30 years
20 surface eggs
Age less than 31-34
15-20 surface eggs
10-15 surface eggs
5-10 surface eggs
Age 40 and above
5 surface eggs