IVF labs do routinely freeze sperm and embryos for several years. This action of theirs has been a challenge i.e. freezing of eggs. This is so as the egg is the largest cell in the body and does contain a large quantity of water. Making use of conventional slow-freezing techniques that are meant for intracellular water to be formed into ice crystals while the egg is being frozen, resulting in the egg being damaged.
One can make use of a new technique referred to as vitrification (vitros = glass) or flash freezing as this helps to reliably freeze the eggs.
How does vitrification operate?
The principle is rather simple. This new method of cryopreservation does allow ultra-rapid freezing. One can place the eggs in very small droplets of vitrification solution in special straws, and plunge them directly into liquid nitrogen. This does imply that the egg is cooled from 37 C to -196 C in a matter of few seconds so that the water does not really get a chance to crystallize.
- Vitrification does make use of a very high concentration of antifreeze solution (DMSO and ethylene glycol), thus allowing instant super-cooling into solid with no ice crystal formation at all.
- The method is not all that simple as it sounds. Such high concentrations of antifreeze could indeed be toxic to cells. Therefore, technical skill, experience, and expertise are critically important.
- Making use of this vitrification technique for freezing, one can reliably preserve eggs as well as embryos so that the pregnancy rate is as good as with fresh eggs.
- This breakthrough will now allow us these additional services to patients
- Formation of donor egg banks in order to facilitate as well as lessen the cost of oocyte donation. One can ship this frozen oocyte all across the world.
- Provision of egg cryostorage for women who do desire to pursue their career and want to also postpone childbearing.
- This is our standard egg vitrification treatment protocol.
Treatment starts from Day 1 (the day the bleeding starts) of one’s cycle. At this time, one does start one’s downregulation thus making use of Lupride, a GnRH analog mfr by Sun Pharma, 0.2 ml sc daily. On Day 3, on needs to do an ultrasound scan to confirm there is no ovarian cyst, after which one can start one’s superovulation with 4 ampoules of HMG (Menogon) daily. The dose of HMG will much depend upon one’s ovarian morphology and one’s antral follicle count.
One can travel back 3 days after the egg collection.
- Lots of women have many questions about egg freezing.
- How do you check that the eggs are normal?
- Do you do that before freezing or before/after fertilization?
- Is there a higher rate of problems in babies born to older women?
- Is it possible to ‘check’ eggs for that?
- What are the possible side effects of the egg retrieval treatment – long-term and short-term?
- What is the likelihood of getting these side-effects?
One still cannot check if the eggs are genetically normal.
There are no long-term effects at all. On uses hormonal medication to superovulate one, but these are natural hormones which do get excreted promptly. The treatment will not only cause one to run out of eggs either – it just allows us to save the eggs which would have died (undergone atresia) anyway.
- Have any babies been born from frozen eggs in one’s clinic?
- How many women have frozen their eggs?
- Can I possibly talk to anyone who’s gone through this procedure?
- What is the success rate for IVF and for egg freezing in your clinic?
Patients want confidentiality.
What are the general chances of success – having a baby someday – with this procedure?
This is a complex question and the answer depends upon how many eggs you grow
If one wants to have a baby at say, age 45, would once have it by oneself or does one need to make use of a surrogate?
- What would be the process of egg freezing?
- How would the eggs be retrieved? Would it hurt?
- Retrieval is performed under general anesthesia and it does take about 15 min. There is indeed no pain.
- Is it necessary to get screened for sexually transmitted diseases before doing the procedure?
- How many years would the eggs remain viable after freezing?
- How much would the procedure cost?
- What would be the approximate cost of these medicines that are required?
- What would the cost be for keeping the eggs frozen per year?
Indeed so many questions do arise in one’s mind and yet the desire to have the child does make one to undergo such processes.
Today, infertility affects 1 in every 6 couples and so IVF treatments have come a long way to help meet the need of the day. IVF Advanced Fertility Hospital is one of the best IVF centre in Hyderabad offering effective fertility solutions to couples aspiring fruitful parenthood.