Egg Freezing / Oocyte Cryopreservation Vitrification
The quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs start declining around age 30, with a more rapid decline beginning in their late 30s until menopause stops egg production altogether. After age 40, a woman’s chance of conceiving and maintaining a viable pregnancy drops dramatically, even when in vitro fertilization treatment is introduced to encourage conception. In addition, older, premenopausal women have an increased rate of producing eggs with chromosomal abnormalities, especially trisomy 21, or Down’s Syndrome.
By freezing healthy eggs in their 20s or 30s, women can postpone motherhood until they feel the time is right for having children while potentially reducing the risk of a difficult pregnancy or chromosomal disorders.
How Eggs are Frozen at Our Long Island Fertility Clinic
Since eggs contain nearly 50 percent water, they must be dehydrated and replaced with a fluid that won’t freeze before cryogenically stored. If eggs are frozen as they are, ice crystals form within the eggs that destroy their viability.
Oocyte Cryopreservation Vitrification (OCV) is a flash-freezing method of storing eggs for as long as ten years without diminishing the quality of eggs. To retrieve eggs for the OCV process, patients need to receive a series of hormone injections several weeks prior to the egg retrieval process. Necessary for blocking activity of natural hormones, stimulating ovaries and ripening multiple eggs, these hormone injections contain the same hormones used for to initiate in-vitro fertilization.
Once eggs have ripened, they are removed by a qualified physician using a special needle and ultrasound technology. The retrieval process is painless since the patient is given IV sedation prior to the start of the removal process. When a woman decides she is ready to conceive, the eggs are then thawed and injected with sperm. Once they have been fertilized, the eggs (now embryos) are transferred to the uterus.
Find Out More about New York Reproductive Wellness’s Egg Freezing Services
Women interested in becoming pregnant in the future, but unable to do so now because of medical (e.g. undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer), personal or professional reasons may decide to have their eggs frozen for future use. With improved technologies such as vitrification, egg freezing has now become a popular and effective option for preserving fertility.