Are Your Eggs On Ice?
Assisted reproductive technology has paved the way for additional benefits like cryopreservation. Procedures like in vitro fertilization (IVF) require multiple eggs and sperm to create sufficient embryos. Since all the embryos are not used at once, the others must be stored. Cryopreservation uses liquid nitrogen to store reproductive material at about -320° Fahrenheit. This process has been particularly appealing for women to keep eggs for a later date. Placing eggs on ice comes with these 3 great benefits.
1. A pause in pregnancy
More and more women are choosing to start or grow families later. Some want to focus on work or business ventures. Others wait for an ideal partner to start a family. As women age, so do the eggs produced by the ovaries. As a result, the chance of conceiving naturally declines significantly. Extracting younger eggs allows women to have more successful IVF cycles later. Cryopreservation also reduces the anxiety over fertility that comes with age.
2. Preserving fertility before cancer treatment
There are serious medical conditions that threaten the health of eggs or cause infertility. Ovarian cancer is one common example. Surgical removal of the ovaries may be necessary, causing fertility loss. If surgery is not necessary, the required chemotherapy also affects fertility by stopping future estrogen and egg production. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for unrelated reproductive issues may also stop egg production or reduce the health of existing eggs. Cryopreservation preserves eggs now so women can get healthy and still have a chance of having children in the future.
3. More chances of success
Multiple frozen eggs provide women with more options. These eggs can lead to multiple embryos, which are sometimes necessary for IVF. The fertility team also has time to perform genetic testing to rule out any hereditary conditions that may impact pregnancy. This test can then allow for elective single embryo transfer (eSET). Having eggs on ice gives both fertility clinics and hopeful moms more flexibility and more chances of success.
Don’t freeze on cryopreservation
When a woman is ready for cryopreservation, the procedure begins like IVF. Hormone medication allows the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. A fertility specialist can then extract the eggs in a simple surgical procedure. The lab can finally perform cryopreservation. The clinic can always thaw the eggs as necessary. Egg freezing is a big decision. However, the benefits of having healthy reproductive material available when needed are undeniable.