What is Egg Freezing?
Egg Freezing is also known as oocyte cryopreservation. It is a method used to save a woman’s ability to get pregnant at any time in the future. In this process, the eggs are harvested from the woman’s ovaries, frozen unfertilized, and then stored for later use.
Egg freezing is a good option for you if you are not ready to get pregnant now but want to get pregnant in the future. For the process of egg freezing, sperm are not required as eggs are not fertilized before they are frozen. However, you may need fertility drugs to ensure ovulation for the production of multiple eggs for retrieval.
Fertility in women declines with age due to the continued loss of eggs. This can be associated with an increased rate of miscarriage, chromosomal abnormalities, and infertility. With the help of egg freezing, women get the opportunity to use their younger eggs whenever they would like to get pregnant. This also helps to address problems of decreased fertility and increased rates of miscarriage associated with advanced age.
Is egg freezing helpful for women with cancer?
Women who are about to undergo cancer treatment can consider egg freezing before their chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This is because women with cancer face the possibility of damage to their ovaries through these treatments.
What is the best age for egg freezing?
For those of you doing family planning should always remember that the younger you are at the time of egg freezing, the greater are the chances of you having a healthy child. The best age for freezing eggs for women would be between thirty and thirty-five.
It is possible to freeze eggs even after the age of thirty-five but the process will be more time consuming and the quality and quantity of eggs would be comparatively lesser than those frozen at a younger age.
Can I become successfully pregnant with frozen eggs?
The chances of becoming pregnant with frozen eggs are slightly less as compared to your chances of becoming pregnant with fresh eggs and IVF. As age plays a pivotal role in a successful pregnancy, younger frozen eggs have a higher success rate than eggs frozen at an older age.
How many eggs should I freeze?
To have multiple attempts at pregnancy in the future and have more than one child, freezing at least 10-15 mature eggs is recommended. This is because all harvested eggs may not result in pregnancy therefore it is crucial to freeze a good number of eggs.
Will all my eggs be used at once?
To develop the healthiest and strongest embryo, about six to eight eggs are thawed in batches at a time. Egg thaw cycle is the process of warming your frozen eggs. It is also possible to have several attempts at pregnancy with each batch depending on how many eggs fertilize successfully.
How long is the entire freezing process?
The egg freezing cycle lasts two weeks. During these two weeks, you can maintain your regular schedule in addition to taking hormonal injections for stimulation and would require three to five brief clinic visits for monitoring after which the eggs would be retrieved under anaesthesia.
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What is infertility?
Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive even after a year of trying to get pregnant through unprotected and well-timed sexual intercourse in which the woman is under the age of 35. If the woman is above 35, it is diagnosed after six months of trying to get pregnant. Infertility can be due to male or female factors or even both. It can also be due to unexplained reasons.
Does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?
Yes, age does affect a woman’s ability to have children. More and more women now prefer to wait until their 30s and 40s to conceive. A woman’s fertility starts to reduce from her 30s and more after the age of 35. As much as one-third of couples who face fertility problems are those in which the woman is above the age of 35.
How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?
Here are a few ways of how a woman’s ability conceive reduces due to her age:
- The ability of ovaries to release eggs ready for fertilization reduces with age
- The quality of eggs released reduces with an increase in the age of women
- An increase in age can lead to more health problems which may interfere with a woman’s fertility
- The risk of miscarriages increases as a woman ages
- Children born to older women tend to have more abnormalities
How long should women try to get pregnant before visiting a doctor?
Women who are healthy and below the age of 30 need not worry about infertility unless they have been trying to get pregnant for a year or so. If such is the case, they should talk to their doctor for a fertility evaluation. They should also ask their partners to do the same.
Women in their 30s trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctor after trying for 6 months as a woman’s chances of having a baby decline rapidly after the age of 30.
Is infertility only a woman’s problem?
No, infertility can affect both men and women. About one-third of cases of infertility are due to female factors and another one third are due to male factors. The remaining cases are either due to a mixture of both male and female factors or due to unknown reasons.
Can male infertility be treated?
In most cases, male infertility can be treated. Your doctor may suggest you use assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). Although ART cannot cure or treat the causes of infertility, it can help couples achieve pregnancy even with the male’s low sperm count.
What are the risk factors for infertility?
There are several external factors, lifestyle choices, and environmental causes that can lead to infertility. Although some risk factors can be gender-specific, some common risk factors are:
- Alcohol Consumption
- Substance Abuse
- Obesity and Underweight
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Tubal Disease
- Genetic Causes
What are the ways to treat infertility?
There are many ways to treat infertility for both men and women. With advancing medical technologies, you and your partner along with your doctor can decide depending on the options available.
What causes infertility in women?
The most common reason for infertility in women is problems with ovulation. No ovulation or improper ovulation can prevent eggs from fertilizing or there may be no eggs at all. Irregular periods or no periods are a sign of no or improper ovulation. Some other causes of infertility include:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Blocked Fallopian Tubes
- Physical problems with the uterus
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Several Miscarriages
- Unexplained Reasons
What causes infertility in men?
Infertility in men can be due to the following:
- Low or no sperm production
- Low motility of sperms- sperms inability to move fast or reach the egg to fertilize it
- Abnormal shape/structure of sperms that prevent it from fertilizing the egg
- Erectile Dysfunction or Retrograde Ejaculation
Sometimes, men may be born with these problems, and the other times, they may develop these problems due to an illness or injury.