Egg Freezing

With competitive pressures rising, and women choosing to delay taking a maternity break, before they get settled in their careers and have enough monetary surplus to last a couple of years without a salary, egg freezing is an idea that has caught the attention of millions of people across the globe. They know that their biological clocks are ticking away and the quality & quantity of eggs will not be the same five years from now.

 

  • Female patients desirous of having children after 35 can leverage egg freezing services to store their eggs till the time they are ready to start or expand their families.
  • Different laboratories use diverse techniques for egg freezing. Some use vitrification that is a flash egg freezing process while others use a slow egg freezing technique.
  • Empirical evidence has shown that there is tremendous variability in terms of the ability of eggs to tolerate the freezing process. Some will survive, others will not and those who survive will fertilize into embryos when exposed to the male sperm.

Here’s a brief snapshot of how it’s done

Step 1: Women desirous of freezing their eggs need to inform us in advance about the particular month they want to go for treatment. There is a 21 day horizon from the onset of the menstrual period when the ovaries are being readied for stimulation mechanism.

 

Step 2: Patients are administered drugs to produce more eggs and ultrasound –guided needles are used to harvest eggs from the ovary.

 

Step 3: When extracted from ovaries eggs are in fluid form, they are then poured into a petri-dish and examined under a microscope to be withdrawn for freezing.

 

Step 4: Care is taken to remove water from the eggs and bathe them in an anti-freeze liquid solution so that ice-crystals do not form before freezing that can damage the egg.

 

Step 5: The extracted eggs are stored in tubes in a liquid nitrogen storage tank which are thawed and then injected with a needle containing a single sperm at the time of fertilization. When eggs are exposed to sperms, they develop into embryos which are then implanted into a uterus using a catheter.

 

The above procedure is very useful for female cancer patients with impaired fertility and “young” frozen eggs yield better results, though the technology itself is in an evolving stage worldwide and more advancements are expected that will change the future of parenting as we know it.

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