As the 21st century rolls on, more and more women are looking to delay pregnancy by having their eggs frozen, enabling them to have the baby in later years.
For the career woman this is the perfect choice, particularly if she wants a long career.
For women aged 35 years or older, the egg freezing option removes the rush against the biological clock to have a baby. This also removes the rush to be in a relationship, just too have a baby.
The egg freezing procedure is known medically as oocyte cryopreservation. Up until 15 years ago eggs were frozen using a slow freeze method which was generally ineffective.
But in 2012 the freezing process was significantly improved, using a new technology called Vitrification. Also in 2012 The American Society of Reproductive technology lifted the experimental label on the vitrification process making the procedure widely available for women wanting to delay motherhood.
Egg Freezing Procedure to Delay Motherhood is…
NOT 100% Guaranteed!
Many women that can afford the egg freezing procedure have a good career and are in their late 30’s, an age group where their fertility rate has already naturally dropped, which can result in a lower rate of successfully having a baby in later years.
The ideal age to have this procedure is in the 20’s as this is when a woman at is at her most fertile time of life. On average the fertility rate for women goes down as they get older.
By having the procedure in your 20’s, it helps to avoid the risk of having a deformed baby or a baby with various birth defects such as downs syndrome.
Not everyone is in the financial position to freeze their eggs, but those that do see it as an insurance policy too have a baby in later years.
Egg freezing broker companies have developed to spread the message about egg freezing to woman, and find a specialist to do the procedure at a good price.
Many of these companies offer egg freezing parties to get woman together in a relaxed environment to learn about egg freezing. One such broker company is Egg Banxx.
While the media tout this procedure as a type of insurance policy, many professionals disagree, advising the egg freezing procedure does not guarantee a baby, as there is always a chance some women may come out of it at the end with no baby.
Summary of the Egg Freezing Process
The first consultation – You will be asked about your general health and fertility status, and what you expect out of the complete egg freezing process.
- Fertility drugs are given to stimulate egg production – These drugs usually involve hormone treatment and are given by injection. You are taught how to administer the injections at home. Initially the injections are needed for 4-5 days, then it’s back to the specialist for another consultation.
- At the second consultation – A scan is performed to see how many eggs are growing in the ovaries. The hormone treatment is continued.
- After approximately 10 days of fertility treatment – The eggs are full size and ready to release. The woman is sedated and given pain killers, while through the vagina with ultra-sound an extraction of the eggs is performed. This procedure usually takes 20-30 minutes and in most cases the woman goes home about 1-3 hours later to recover. The average recovery time once home is 1 – 2 days.
- A capsule with the fluid extracted from the ovary – Is taken to the cryopreservation laboratory. Inside the fluid is a microscopic particle that is the egg. A embryologist scientist then checks the eggs are healthy under a microscope, the healthy eggs are then put inside an incubator that duplicates being inside the womans’ fallopian tubes.
- The eggs then go through the Vitrification process – (also known as the flash freeze process), that freezes the eggs so quickly that crystals don’t get a chance to form.
- Oocyte Storage – Following the egg freezing process the eggs are transferred to a liquid nitrogen chamber where they can be effectively stored.
- The cryopreservation process – Is a separate process that happens when you want to have your eggs thawed and fertilized to have a baby.
For a comprehensive run down on the process see – Steps in the Egg Freezing. The egg freezing process can cost $8000 – $15,000. This fee does not include extra fees for: Long-term storage in an embryo-bank, any extra testing that may need to be done, the cryopreservation process, and IVF treatment. The complete process can cost over $40,000.
Summary of the Risks with
The Egg Freezing Process
Just like with any other medial procedure, there will always be associated risks. Many professionals advise the benefits out weigh the chances of risk for the Egg freezing procedure. Some of the associated risks include…
- No baby at the end – You may come out of the treatment with no baby.
- Success rate statistics – The statistics on the success rates of coming out of this treatment with a baby are unclear and can vary from clinic to clinic. It’s important to note that due to the verification process being relatively new, there hasn’t been enough time for accurate statistics to develop.
- Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is condition that happens when the body reacts to the hormones given. Serious cases of OHSS only effect approximately 3% of patients. In the worst cases it can cause ovarian torsions, a separate but threatening complication in which an ovary turns over on itself.
- Infection – Infection from the egg retrieval process.
- Long-term effects – Many professionals will say the procedure is very safe. At time of writing, there have been no survey’s done on any long-term effects of this procedure.
For a more in-depth look at possible risks – see Ice Babies by Shweta Nayak M.D
Article written by Wen Dee (October 2015)
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