Preserving human eggs through freezing might raise questions about potential side effects, given that these eggs are intended to remain in their original state. The process involves long-term freezing and the injection of a non-freezable solution to ensure preservation.
This is quite a journey for a tiny egg! The freezing method is crucial. Just as a tub of Ben & Jerry’s can suffer freezer burn if left in the freezer too long, the preservation of your eggs, a key part of your reproductive future, needs to be handled with care.
The Initial Freeze
Post-collection through a process involving hormonal medications and IVF, the eggs are prepared for freezing. Given the high water content of eggs, the water is first removed to prevent damage during freezing. This water is replaced with a non-freezable substance, and then the eggs are frozen for future use.
Thawing and Implantation
While egg freezing has many success stories, there can also be failures. The egg needs to be carefully thawed for survival (vitrification, the currently favored thawing method, boasts a success rate of 90-95%). If successful, the egg then undergoes ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), as the freezing process hardens the egg’s shell, necessitating direct sperm injection into the egg.
From there, the egg follows the same process as IVF. The success rate of IVF is influenced by various factors, including age and health, with the national average success rate being 50% according to the CDC.
For women aged 38 to 40 years, the success rate of birth from a frozen egg is higher than using fresh eggs. That’s a win for Team Frozen Eggs!
Is egg freezing worth the potential side effects? This depends on several factors: a woman’s age, financial capacity to preserve her eggs, and personal views on the matter. If you’re certain about wanting children, egg freezing can enhance your chances. While we can’t predict the future, the option of egg freezing provides a reassuring backup plan for your reproductive journey.
Remember, understanding your menstrual cycle, tracking ovulation, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in your fertility journey. Tools like fertility apps can be a great aid in this process.