What to know about Egg Freezing and oocyte cryopreservation?
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, Egg Freezing Costs , is a method used to save women’s ability to get pregnant in the future. Eggs harvested from your ovaries are frozen unfertilized and stored for later use
Egg freezing, medically known as human oocyte cryopreservation. It is an effective procedure that allows the woman to go against the biological clock. It enables women to postpone pregnancy to a later date. In this phenomenon, eggs extracted, frozen, and stored. The success rate of the procedure depends on the age of the woman and ranges from approximately 14% to 30%.
What is the preparation for egg freezing?
Before you plan to extend your fertility, take note of the following points:
- Plan about your family goals: Sit with your partner and discuss family planning. If you’re pretty sure you want to get pregnant around 35, It will imply a different target plan than if you’re sure you’ll be waiting until you’re over 40. Accordingly, an egg-freezing storage plan made.
- Explore payment and financing options: Talk to your insurance provider to check whether your insurance plan would cover the treatment and medications.
- Extend Fertility has made egg freezing possible by offering you an option to pay in cash or credit or set up a monthly payment plan while preparing for your first egg freezing cycle.
- If you are planning to undergo egg freezing, a series of screenings and blood tests need to be completed anytime in 12 months before the procedure.
- Consider your calendar: To achieve desired results, it is important to decide when to freeze your eggs. Choose an optimum time for freezing so that there is no inconvenience in the process either by work, travel or any kind of social commitments. Consult the healthcare team to guide you for the most appropriate time to start the cycle.
What is the procedure for oocyte cryopreservation?
In the egg freezing procedure, a woman may choose to have the eggs thawed, fertilized, and transferred to the uterus as embryos to facilitate pregnancy in the future. It involves stimulating the ovaries with hormones to produce multiple eggs, thereafter retrieving the eggs from the ovaries and taking them to the laboratory. Here, at the lab, they are cooled at subzero temperature to be thawed at a future date, Egg Freezing Costs .
Who would benefit for oocyte cryopreservation?
Women under 38 years and wish to preserve the option of having healthy, genetically related children for a later date. Egg freezing has proved beneficial for women who anticipate becoming pregnant sometime later in the future. IT enables them to become a genetic parent using their frozen-thawed eggs. Plus, reduces the risk of having children with chromosomal abnormalities associated with ovarian aneuploidy. For women with no partner or case of women moral concerns egg freezing is a suitable alternative to embryo freezing.
Egg freezing is popular since the late 90s. Used for fertility preservation for young women suffering from cancer who are at risk of sterility as a result of the disease or its treatment.
Egg Freezing Costs and side effects
Egg freezing and Egg Freezing Costs is currently an expensive affair. The procedural cost of retrieval and storage of eggs similar to the IVF procedure may vary between Rs.50,000 to Rs.100,000. Once the eggs froze, the cost of retaining them in frozen stare recurring annual cost and varies between Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000 per year.
The risks and side effects associated with the procedure are either nil or short-lived. The side effects reported are mainly as a result of the hormonal fluctuations caused by medications. PMS symptoms headaches, mood swings, insomnia, breast tenderness, bloating or mild fluid retention are common problems faced by women.
Egg freezing method does carry some risks, as mentioned below.
- Conditions associated with the use of fertility drugs – In rare cases, the injectable fertility drugs like HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), which are used to induce ovulation, may sometimes lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. In this syndrome, the ovaries get painful and swollen immediately after the retrieval of the eggs or ovulation. Some other related signs and symptoms of the syndrome may be as mentioned.
- Abdominal pains
- Complications during the retrieval of the eggs – In very rare scenarios, the retrieval of the eggs with an aspirating fine needle may lead to bleeding, bowel damage, infections, or damage to the blood vessels or urinary bladder.
- Emotional risks – The procedure of egg freezing can sometimes give false hopes to the woman. The egg freezing procedure in combination with in vitro fertilization may give a limited success rate. Sometimes, if the woman uses the egg freezing technique to get pregnant or bear a biological child, there can be a risk of miscarriage which will be based on the age of the woman at the time of retrieval of the eggs.
After waking up from the effect of general anesthesia some patients might face some of the following problems:
- A temporary state of confusion
- A feeling of cold or shivering
There is a mandatory screening done of the woman before the egg freezing, which consists of the following:
- Ovarian reserve testing – A test is done to determine the quality and quantity of the eggs produced by the woman. In this test, the doctor tests for the AMG level with AFC test. The results of this test help to determine and predict the response of the ovaries to the fertility drugs.
- Screening for infectious diseases – The woman is screened for several infectious diseases like HIV 122, Hep B, Hep C etc. The eggs, which are at some risk of infection are stored separately than the rest of the eggs.
The procedure of egg freezing has multiple steps, as mentioned below.
- When the menstrual cycle starts, the treatment begins with administration of gonadotrophin hormones to stimulate the ovaries to produce a number of eggs, apart from the single egg which forms monthly. Various drugs which are needed are as mentioned.
- Drugs for ovarian stimulation – The drugs which stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or human menopausal gonadotropin.
- Drugs to prevent pre-mature ovulation – In order to prevent pre-mature ovulation, the woman might be injected with gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist or gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist.
- Blood tests are also done to determine the response to the drugs to stimulate the ovaries. The level of the estrogen increase with the development of the follicles and the levels of progesterone stay low until the ovulation is completed.
- Once the follicles are ready for the eggs to be retrieved, which takes around 9 to 12 days, HCG injection is administered to help with the final maturation & ovulation of eggs.
Retrieval of the eggs : Egg freezing method
- The process of retrieval of the eggs is done under anaesthesia. The doctors usually opt for a transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. During this procedure, a small ultrasound probe is put into the vagina to locate the follicles. Then the doctor guides a fine needle into the vagina and further into the follicles. With the help of a suction device that is connected to the needle, the eggs are removed very carefully from the follicles. This process can retrieve a number of eggs in 20 to 30 minutes and Egg freezing method.
- After the eggs are retrieved, the woman might experience some cramping or feeling of fullness or some pressure. This might continue for a few weeks because the ovaries might stay enlarged especially in those with ovarian hyper stimulation.
- If the doctor has some problem accessing the ovaries through the transvaginal ultrasound approach, then the placement of the needle will be guided through the laparoscopy technique. In this method, a laparoscope (a tube with a camera) is inserted by making a small incision into the belly button.
- After the harvesting of the unfertilized eggs, the eggs are frozen to sub-zero temperature (-196 degree). This is done to stop all the biological activity occurring in the egg. The eggs are then preserved to be used in the future.
The doctor uses various special methods for Egg freezing as mentioned below: Egg freezing method
- Usage of cryoprotectants – These cryoprotectants help the egg from forming an intracellular harmful ice crystal when stored in deep freezing.
- Slow- freezing technique – This technique involves the use of programmable freezers that freeze the eggs very slowly so that the intracellular ice crystals cannot be formed. This technique protects the eggs from exposure to the toxic substances present in the cryoprotectants. In this slow-freezing method, initially, the cryoprotectants are used in a very low concentration. The high concentration of cryoprotectants is only used when there is a gradual decline in the temperature and a decrease in the metabolic rates of the eggs.
- Vitrification – In this technique, initially, the higher concentration of the cryoprotectants is used with the rapid cooling so that there is no time for the intracellular ice crystals to form (currently used & popular technique).
After the procedure: oocyte cryopreservation
- The woman is able to return to normal activities within a week after the process of retrieval of the eggs.
- The woman is advised to have protected sex to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
- The woman should immediately inform the doctor if any of the following is observed:
- Difficulty in urinating
- High fever more than 38.6°C or 101 F.
- Severe bleeding from the vagina i.e. filling of more than 2 pads hourly.
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Gaining weight of more than 0.9 kg within 24 hours.
- Egg freezing method
- What is the IVF success rate in India?
- IVF Treatment Cost in India || IVF Cost in India 2022
- Cost of IVF in USA