Egg freezing is a medical procedure that allows women to freeze their eggs and preserve their fertility. The medical term for this procedure is oocyte cryopreservation where the eggs are collected, frozen, and stored for future use. It is a multi-step process that helps you to choose your paths without worrying about your biological clock ticking. Women can freeze their eggs for multiple reasons and improve their chances of pregnancy when they opt for it. In this article, we will delve into the world of egg freezing, procedure, and side effects
When To Freeze Your Eggs?
- Career Pursuits: Women are flourishing in the modern world and are giving top priority to their careers and achievements. Success is a time-consuming process that needs complete dedication and undivided attention. While they are focusing on their goals and embracing new challenges their reproductive potential must be declining with age. Egg freezing ensures that healthy eggs are preserved so that one can embrace pregnancy when they are ready for it. This process relieves women of the burden of not having to choose between career and motherhood.
- Not the right time: Motherhood is a phenomenal and fulfilling process as well as a demanding one. It takes great dedication, strength, and selflessness to nurture and raise a child. It becomes even more incredible when you are truly ready for it. If you feel like this is not the right time to embrace motherhood consider freezing your eggs to improve your chances.
- Medical Conditions: If you have a medical condition or undergoing any treatment that affects your reproductive potential egg freezing is a considerable option. Especially treatment like chemotherapy could affect healthy eggs in your body posing a threat to your fertility. By freezing your eggs you can fight the disease, get better and improve your possibility of having biological children in the future.
- Looking for the right partner: Sometimes you are still searching for your soulmate and the right person to share your future with. In such cases, you can consider freezing your eggs as their quality and quantity deteriorate with age. With your healthy eggs being stored for future use you can patiently look for your right partner.
The procedure of Egg Freezing
- Stimulation of ovaries: The ovaries are stimulated with hormonal medications so that there are more eggs available to collect. With these medications, the ovaries are stimulated and release multiple mature eggs rather than a single one in a month.
- Monitoring: After stimulation, the next part is to continuously monitor the progress for effective results. With a series of blood tests and other procedures the development and maturity of eggs are observed. Medical professionals increase the dosage of hormonal medications if the desired effects are not produced.
- Retrieval: The next step is to retrieve the mature eggs through a minor surgical procedure. This procedure is commonly known as follicular aspiration. A thin needle is inserted into the ovaries through the vaginal wall to extract the eggs. It is usually performed under anesthesia so that there is no pain or discomfort.
- Freezing: The eggs that are carefully retrieved are frozen in the process called vitrification. The eggs are kept at extremely low temperatures to avoid any kind of damage. The rapid freezing using liquid nitrogen prevents the formation of ice crystals on the eggs which improves their chances of survival.
- Storage: The frozen eggs are stored in a special facility known as a cryobank. It is possible to store them for about 10-14 years as specialists have a success rate based on this time period.
Egg Freezing Side Effects
Even though it is a life-changing process that allows you to do things at your own pace the side effects should not be turned a blind eye to. There are certain issues that could arise as a part of egg freezing.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
Stimulating the ovaries is essential for the production of high-quality eggs in the necessary quantity. Ovaries are stimulated with hormonal medications and this could result in OHSS. This syndrome causes bloating, nausea, and discomfort in the abdomen, and in severe stages, there is a chance of blood clots and fluid accumulation.
Chances of Multiple Pregnancy
To ensure a successful pregnancy usually multiple embryos are implanted. This increases the possibility of multiple pregnancies that come with a lot of health concerns and challenges.
Retrieving the eggs are a crucial part of oocyte cryopreservation. Sometimes, it could involve complications such as bleeding, infections, and injury to nearby organs. In certain cases, some could even face adverse reactions related to anesthesia.
Hormonal medications are used to stimulate the ovaries for the production of eggs. These medications can cause certain side effects like headaches and mood swings resulting from hormonal fluctuations.
Egg freezing improves your chances of pregnancy even after your reproductive years. Although, in rare cases, there are chances of ectopic pregnancy where the embryo is implanted outside the uterus.
Survival of Eggs
Even though eggs that are frozen have a survival rate of 10-14 years, not all eggs will be viable. This could potentially affect the future fertilization process which reduces the chances of pregnancy.
Some might develop certain allergies related to the medications that are used in the process. The experience varies from person to person and communicate with your doctor for the right guidance.
Even though chances of infections due to egg freezing are rare it could still occur. There are slight chances of infections of the reproductive tract being exposed to bacteria during the egg retrieval process. If you notice any signs of infections it is recommended to seek professional help immediately.
Another possibility is needle punctures that might occur during the egg retrieval process. In rare cases, there is a chance of an internal organ like a bowel, bladder, or cervix being punctured with a needle while performing the process.
Does Egg Freezing guarantee pregnancy?
This is a common concern that is raised by those who are looking to freeze their eggs for future pregnancies. It is important to understand that egg freezing improves your chances of pregnancy but it cannot guarantee results. Freezing eggs during your reproductive years will allow you to preserve your fertility for a long time. There are certain risks and challenges involved in this procedure that could hinder expected results. To maximize success rate doctors recommend freezing about a couple dozen eggs.
Is Egg Freezing safe?
Although, there are certain side effects and possible complications the procedure is mostly safe and effective. The whole process will be done within two weeks and mild anesthesia makes it painless and bearable.
Will Egg Freezing affect Natural fertility?
This is a question that seems to ponder over the minds of those who are interested in egg freezing. The answer is no it will affect your fertility or ability to conceive in a natural way. The process is all about keeping your eggs for future use so that there is an evident chance of pregnancy. However, as women age their fertility declines and chances of natural pregnancy are potentially affected.
Egg freezing is a popular phenomenon nowadays as it helps women to make conscious choices about their life and body. It encourages women to go after their dreams and deal with challenging situations without having to worry about their fertility and reproductive age. Although, you should be fully informed and educated about the procedure and possible complications before arriving at a final decision.