Vitrification – Egg Freezing
Previously women were limited when it came to their reproductive choices. And if they wanted to get pregnant later in life they had to face egg quality issues. They were always reminded of their biological clock. But those days are over. Now women can extend their fertility by preserving their eggs via vitrification or egg freezing at a time when they are much healthier.
Advancements in Egg Freezing
Previous traditional methods of human egg cryopreservation have had limited success. An alternative approach to cryopreservation is by vitrification. Vitrification is a novel technique for freezing human eggs. This opens the door to the possibility of long-term human egg storage. Vitrification is the process of cryopreservation using high concentrations of cryoprotectorant with rapid freezing to solidify the cell into a glass-like state without the formation of ice crystals. Ice crystals within an egg can cause damage or cryoinjurie. Furthermore, the rapid freezing bolsters higher egg survival and therefore higher pregnancy rates.
Women’s bodies ovulate the best eggs first so fertility peaks during the mid 20s and declines around the age of 30. By the mid 30s and early 40s, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant using her own eggs dramatically decreases to less than 10%. By the early 40s, nearly half of those eggs contain genetic abnormalities. With vitrification, a woman of about 31 years of age can freeze her eggs. Then she can be assured that the eggs she is storing are the most viable eggs she’ll ever have.
LifeArt Fertility Clinic offers vitrification (egg freezing) for patients who may need to preserve their eggs for later use. This would include patients undergoing cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Or where surgery could limit future reproductive potential.
Benefits of freezing human oocytes:
- This is brought about the formation of donor “oocyte banks” to facilitate and lessen the cost of oocyte donation for women that are unable to produce their own oocytes.
- It provides oocyte cryostorage for women wishing to delay their reproductive choices.
- It allows for the convenient cryopreservation of ovarian tissue taken from women who are about to undergo therapy which may threaten their reproductive health e.g. radiotherapy, chemotherapy, etc.