Ovum Pick Up




Freezing eggs

Freezing eggs is an option for couples who wish to conceive in the future due to current medical issues or who would like to increase the chances of conceiving at a more suitable time. This option is an attractive proposition because as women get older, the number and quality of eggs continue to decline. Additionally, natural pregnancies at an advanced age carry with them a risk of the child being born with chromosomal abnormalities, as well as an increased chance of a miscarriage. Freezing eggs while the woman is in the prime of her life ensures that a suitable number of quality eggs are available, increasing the likelihood of successfully becoming pregnant when the time is right. The process of freezing eggs is no different from that used in regular IVF techniques, except that no fertilization takes place. Instead, the quality eggs are carefully selected for freezing until a later date.

Which groups are advised to freeze their eggs? 

  • Fertility preservation to delay childbearing for social or personal reasons
  • Women with cancer requiring chemotherapy and/or pelvic radiation therapy that may affect fertility
  • Women who have risk of premature ovarian failure because of chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. Turner syndrome, Fragile X syndrome)
  • Women who have a condition or circumstance where surgery may cause damage to the ovaries. These might include ovarian cyst, ovarian tumor and chocolate cyst
  • Women undergoing in vitro fertilization where the husband is unable to ejaculate, there is no sperm in the semen or the sperm produced is not a sufficient amount to fertilize the ovum
  • Current laws allow egg freezing for future use to take place.

How long can the frozen eggs be stored? 

Frozen can be stored for as long as is necessary. Current data show that eggs frozen for up to 14 years can still be used to conceive successfully. Generally, women are advised to freeze their eggs to become pregnant before they reach 50 years of age, as any pregnancies taking place after that are at high risk of complications.

What factors affect the success of egg freezing techniques? 

Egg freezing success depends on the number and quality of the eggs being frozen. The younger the woman is when she freezes the eggs, the greater the chances are of a successful pregnancy when the time comes to use them.

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