If you are wanting to start a family someday bearing biological children but aren’t ready right now because you’re going to school, focusing on your career, or have health concerns where treatment might interfere with conception later, you may want to plan ahead and consider preserving your eggs now.
Freezing your eggs for fertilization down the road involves a process called vitrification, or “flash freezing”. Vitrification allows us to store your frozen eggs for many years. Unlike a slow-freezing method that results in ice crystals formation that break down the egg, this flash freezing process doesn’t give ice crystals a chance to form so pregnancy rates are higher.
Vitrification of your eggs involves using high levels of cryopreservants which is an anti-freeze solution. To do this, the oocyte is put into a bath with a small concentration of anti-freeze along with sucrose to assist with removing water from the egg. In the next step, the prepared egg is put into a higher concentrated bath of the anti-freeze for less than a minute and frozen instantly. Storing the eggs are done in a cryogenic freezer where they are held by little straws. When the egg is ready to be thawed, the oocyte is quickly warmed up and taken out of the solution. After that, the egg is ready to be fertilized.
So far egg freezing has been proven to be safe and effective, with no increased rate of birth defects as compared to normal births nor pregnancy complications. And when considering the economic factors of egg freezing in fertility treatment, it is about the same in cost as having routine in-vitro fertilization.
You might want to freeze your eggs if you are going to be having cancer treatment and you want to prevent sterility. This will allow you to use the preserved eggs later for conception. Another case might be if you are at risk for early menopause, freezing your eggs can help ensure healthy eggs later. The same goes for women who have a premature ovarian failure, freezing eggs now can allow conception down the road.
If you are planning for a pregnancy in the future and would like to know more about vitrification, please contact our fertility office in Idaho Falls, Idaho. By calling (208) 529-2019 today, we can reserve an appointment for you with one of our Reproductive Endocrinologists to help you prepare for pregnancy. We look forward to hearing from you.