We often find women in late 30s and early 40s with depleting egg reserve and not willing to use donor eggs. They have delayed child bearing either because they have not found their partner or they were not ready to have kids while they were young. They often feel that they could have done something when they were young that could have helped them to have their biological child now.
The first birth from a frozen egg was reported way back in 1986. But for a long time it was considered research or experimental due to its limited success. Due to advanced technology and better survival rates of eggs to the newer freezing protocols this technique is now widely available and with higher success rates.
Egg or oocyte freezing is a process in which the eggs of a woman are extracted from the ovaries, frozen and stored to be used later. This helps the woman to preserve her fertility.
The procedure is similar to an IVF. The fertility expert will assess your ovarian reserve. The ovaries are stimulated using injections and you are monitored using ultrasound. It may take upto 10 days for your eggs to be ready. When the blood test and ultrasound suggest the eggs are ready to be retrieved; you would take a trigger shot that matures the egg and after that the eggs are harvested. The eggs are retrieved transvaginally under anesthesia and this process usually takes 15 minutes. Allmature and healthy looking eggs are frozen or vitrified.
These eggs can be warmed later and used when the women is ready to conceive. As the age advances more number of eggs is needed to achieve a pregnancy. Usually at an age of 30 an egg count of 15 is considered sufficient. After the age of 40, egg freezing is usually not recommended as the egg count is reduced, the healthier eggs are less and the eggs may carry genetic abnormalities.
Many women now freeze their eggs, giving them the option to have children when they are ready and do not let the biological clock decide their fate. Egg freezing allows you to fulfill your professional and personal goals without you worrying about the biological clock ticking as most says.