Women who wish to delay having children have the option to freeze their viable eggs to start a family later on. This procedure is known as "egg freezing" and is done by cryopreserving a female's eggs for later use.
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Basic anatomy of an ovum.
Basic anatomy of an ovum.
WHO IS THIS FOR
Women who would like to delay motherhood.
Women who may have had surgery or treatments (such as with cancer) that may damage their reproductive abilities.
Women who do not want to cryopreserve embryos.
Egg freezing follows the first few steps of an IVF procedure. The egg stimulation takes places for 1-2 weeks. Removing the eggs may take around 15-30 minutes.
The success rate varies depending on whether you are measuring the amount of eggs that survive the thawing or the amount of successful pregnancies. The number vary greatly and are influenced by factors such as your age, the number of embryos implanted, your health condition and your medical history.
There is no particular recovery time involved. You can get back into your normal routine immediately following the extraction of the eggs and later following implantation as well. Resting is recommended.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
Risk of no eggs surviving the thawing process.
Hyperstimulation of the ovaries.
Damage to bowel, bladder or a blood vessel.
Mental health side effects such as anxiety or stress.
How much does egg freezing cost?
Costs for egg freezing vary depending on different factors, including location where it is performed, the technology used, other treatments combined and the annual maintenance that comes with it.
The average cost for Egg Freezing
|Country||Price (EUR)||Annual storage costs|
|USA||€9,000||€500 - € 1,000 per year|
|Spain||€2,550||First year is free and every additional year the cost is €300|
HOW DOES IT WORK?
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing first begins with a cycle of hormone injections, to stimulate the ovaries. Your doctor will teach you how you give yourself the injections, so that they can be regularly carried out by you at home. After around 2 weeks, the eggs are matured and the extraction starts.
Here is how an egg freezing procedure goes:
You will be given intravenous sedation.
Then, using a long thin needle attached to a catheter, your surgeon will extract the matured eggs one by one.
Immediately after extraction, the eggs will be cooled to freezing temperatures of -196 C.
When the woman is ready to use the eggs, they will be thawed to room temperature in a matter of seconds. The eggs will then be fertilized using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. After fertilization, the eggs will be transferred into your uterus (after making sure the endometrium lining is ready).
What should I expect from this procedure?
Egg freezing can be a physically and mentally exhausting procedure. Hormone therapy can lead to side effects such as nausea, cramping and mood swings, which takes a toll on your health.
Please make sure to have thought the procedure through before making the final decision. You can ask your family members to accompany you to appointments, or ask your significant other/close friend to help you with the hormonal injections.
The main aim of cryopreservation of your eggs is to have them available for use in the near or distant future without undergoing a fertilization treatment again.
The eggs can be stored for a number of years. The exact amount depends largely on the country of treatment and the local regulations. We at Qunomedical can help you pick the country that best fits your expectations.
Could sperms be frozen?
Just like egg freezing, sperms can also be frozen for later use. Many men undergoing cancer treatment, or even before a vasectomy, can choose to freeze their sperms. The process is similar to egg freezing, whereby sperms are collected by the man himself, at home or the clinic. Following this, they will be rapidly cooled to freezing temperatures and preserved for a number of years. These sperms can later be thawed and then used during IVF, IUI or ICSI treatments.