Fertility has always been considered something of a ticking time bomb, waiting to give way at the slightest hint of a setback. Well, at least until now.
Many women, for social, educational or financial reasons, often delay starting a family until their late thirties. By this time, the odds of conception are usually reduced and a large majority of women find themselves diagnosed with sub-fertility problems. It is well-known that egg quality and quantity diminish as a woman gets older and the likelihood of a successful pregnancy, even from an In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, declines. Egg freezing offers women the potential to freeze healthy eggs that are capable of leading to live births, ideally when they are south of 35 years of age.
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Oocyte vitrification, or egg freezing, makes it possible for women to freeze their biological clock. The process allows you to postpone pregnancy by freezing healthy eggs, meaning that you can live life on your own terms, without worrying about the quality of your eggs diminishing as you age. Then, when you're ready to grow your family, you can have your eggs fertilised and have the resultant embryo placed in your uterus for implantation.
If you've been contemplating freezing your eggs and are on your way to taking the next step, here are some thoughts you should keep in mind as you do so.
The fact that you're already thinking about egg freezing shows that you're sensitive towards your body's shifting fertility. Not many women are, so you're already ahead of the herd. Take this time to visit a fertility specialist to assess your fertility potential. Then, you can seek a way forward with egg freezing.
Age is the most important determinant of a woman's ability to become pregnant. As a woman grows older, her egg reserves diminish in quality and count. Naturally then, older women hold limited eggs in their ovaries, compromising their ability to conceive. An egg reserve evaluation can be done at any age; this test will allow your fertility specialist to identify the count of residual eggs in your ovaries.
Your fertility specialist will go to great lengths to capture a spectrum of vital information from you, which will provide crucial insights into your fertility. It is likely that your doctor will perform an ultrasound and an Anti-Mullerian Hormone test, a blood test that can measure your ovarian potential. This test can shine a light on your ovarian reserve and reveal whether you are at significant risk of an impending decline in fertility. Essentially, the younger you are, the greater the chances of your possessing a healthy ovarian reserve. Freezing your eggs early can better your odds of conception in the future.
The road up to vitrification requires some ground work that you must be prepared for. In your first month, you will be administered a slew of blood tests and ultrasounds that will gauge your fertility. Then, in your second month, you will be prescribed ovulation-inducing medication that will coax a fresh round of eggs. Through this time, your progress will be tracked through ultrasounds and blood tests, which will collectively indicate the number of your developing eggs. Your eggs will be retrieved around the time that you'd typically ovulate at, with the procedure involving a gentle sedation. Of course, while the outcome is remarkably rewarding, the process is long and it's best to be mentally prepared.
With egg freezing, you can finally shake that monkey off your back; you know the one that's been dancing to the rhythm of your biological clock. Now that you've actually preserved your eggs, you needn't commit to life changes simply based on convention. You can travel, you can work, you can backpack across the country. You can do all the things you've always wanted to. And when you're done, you can pick up from where you left off.
The survival rate of frozen vitrified eggs is about 80 to 85%. This means that some of the stored eggs may not survive the freeze-and-thaw cycle. When you are ready to get pregnant, the frozen eggs are thawed and fertilised with your husband's sperm. Then, the resultant embryos are transferred into your uterus.
Not all eggs fertilise, but about 80 to 90% do. The embryos that are transferred then present a 40% chance of a successful pregnancy. Conception via vitrification hinges on various factors, especially the woman's age at which the eggs were drawn.
Frozen eggs are more fragile than frozen embryos, so if you are already married, consider freezing embryos instead. This can augment your chances of conception when you're ready. The process of freezing embryos is called embryo cryopreservation.
Vitrification can be a gift for couples who want to postpone pregnancy. The best part though? It can be coupled with other related fertility routines that can offer you multiple avenues to parenthood. If you find that your ovaries are understocked, you can consider seeking a donor egg. Donor eggs can be united with your partner's sperm to form an embryo, with the subsequent process remaining the same as a standard frozen egg routine. Of course, egg donors always remain anonymous, so privacy is assured as far as donations go.
Frozen eggs can serve as symbols of the future; of bright and beautiful years of parenthood waiting to be uncovered. On Cloudnine, our world-class vitrification and cryopreservation routines have yielded superior success rates in the country. Freeze an egg on Cloudnine today and lock your fertility for a long time to come.
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