With women in contemporary society waiting longer to have children – and having less of them – than ever before, many women turn to fertility treatments to ensure their family planning goals do not go amiss. Thanks to modern medicine there are a variety of techniques, tips, and procedures available to preserve fertility, and it is easier than ever for a woman to get pregnant in her late 30s or 40s if she wants to. Here, we break down human oocyte vitrification, also known as egg freezing, and explain its benefits to prospective mothers.
What is Human Oocyte Vitrification?
Human oocyte vitrification, or egg freezing, is an assisted reproductive technique that allows women to freeze healthy eggs during peak reproductive age to be saved for later use. Women are born with a specific egg reserve, and with every menstrual cycle the egg reserve is depleted. Because of this, women often run out of eggs or have fewer healthy eggs left as they reach their 40s and beyond. For career-driven women, for example, this could greatly affect their ability to have a baby. With egg freezing, women can safely put their healthy eggs and family planning on hold while maintaining the success rates of a naturally conceived baby.
How is Human Oocyte Vitrification Done?
Egg freezing begins by harvesting a woman’s eggs after a period of hormonal stimulation. Ideally, a woman is at peak reproductive age (mid-twenties) while this occurring to optimize egg health. The eggs are then frozen at an extremely low temperature with cryopreservation fluid to protect the plasma membranes of the egg from freezing and forming internal crystals. When a woman decides she is ready to have a baby – or decides she would rather donate her eggs later in life – the eggs are thawed, fertilized and implanted to start the pregnancy.
Who is Oocyte Vitrification Made for?
What’s great about Oocyte Vitrification is that it’s a great option for a variety of women. Since healthy eggs are taken and frozen until they are ready to be used, any healthy women at reproductive age is likely a good candidate. Egg freezing is especially viable for women undergoing medical treatments like chemotherapy that may affect future fertility, women who want to wait a little longer to start their families, or for women with naturally low egg reserves. Oocyte Vitrification allows women to choose when they are ready to get pregnant without the ticking clock of biological factors.
So far, oocyte vitrification has been highly successful in women, with a similar success rate as women using non-frozen eggs in implantation. With its widespread benefits, many women are looking to freeze their eggs in hope of preserving their fertility for later in life. No matter what your family planning entails, rest assured that there are a variety of options available to help you achieve the family of your dreams.