27 Feb Everything you need to know about ovule vitrification
Would you like to become a mother but have not yet found your ideal partner or do you feel that this is not the right time? Ovule vitrification is your solution. With this technique of assisted reproduction you will lengthen your biological clock and you can make use of your fertility whenever you want. We give you the keys to quickly understand everything about egg freezing.
Why should I freeze my eggs?
- I decide when to become a mother. It is a good option for every woman, whether I am a mother or not yet. Simply because it keeps the possibility open and makes me feel no pressure to decide, whether I have a partner or not.
- I’m securing my motherhood. The quality of a woman’s ovules begins to fall from 25 to 35 years old and falls drastically at 38. From that age, getting pregnant becomes complicated.
- I’m increasing the chances of having a healthy baby. It is not only harder to get pregnant, but the chances of having a healthy baby also decreases. With the increase in the age of the mother, the quality of the ovules decrease and more embryos with chromosomal alterations are generated. Age influences in reproductive failures and the possibility that the baby could be born with some chromosomal alterations.
- I’m going to start oncological treatment. Chemotherapy irreversibly damages the ovules, making ovule vitrification a very important possibility to be taken into account that will allow me to be a mother once the disease has been overcome. The chances of pregnancy in these cases should be assessed individually since they depend on many factors such as: the age of the woman, her ovarian reserve, the time available to perform the vitrification treatment before starting the oncological treatment, the number of oocytes that can be vitrified, the type of cancer the patient suffers and the approval of the oncologist, etc.
- I have had surgery. For medical reasons such as, for example, the removal of an ovary.
- I have obtained few eggs in the IVF cycle and I want to increase my chances of pregnancy. Several cycles of IVF vitrify the eggs and accumulate them and increases the chances of pregnancy. In these cases all the ovules are thawed at the same time, they are fertilized and the resulting competent embryos are selected.
What is the right age?
The most recommended age is before 35 because the ovarian reserve is still abundant and the oocytes retain their quality.
This data is general because each person has their own chronological clock. It can be possible that a 26-year-old woman has a low quality ovarian reserve and that a 40 year old has a high quality reserve. For this reason it is essential to have the help of qualified professionals who can analyze each case individually.
What number of oocytes are recommended to be vitrified?
The number of recommended oocytes to vitrify to be able to postpone motherhood with the maximum guarantee of pregnancy are about 10-15 oocytes in women under 35 years. In women between 35-37 years old we suggest more, since a part of them will produce embryos with chromosomal alterations. In these cases, it is advisable to carry out a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (analyze the number of chromosomes of each embryo) in order to transfer those with the correct chromosomal endowment (healthy).
How is the procedure carried out?
The egg freezing process consists of differentiated stages.
The first stage consists of medical study and guidance. It is necessary to go to a specialist in reproductive medicine, either in person or by videoconference. In this first visit, the doctor, through various questions, will know the case of the patient in depth and will inform the patient about the procedure to be followed, solving all possible doubts. In a second appointment a detailed report will be prepared so that the patient gives her consent to be treated.
The second stage of vitrification is based on ovarian stimulation. This consists of the daily administration of hormones to stimulate the ovaries and lasts approximately 10 days. Every 3 to 4 days the patient should visit the clinic to monitor her follicular growth by ultrasound and getting a blood test.
The third stage is the ovulatory discharge. When the ovaries are stimulated, another hormone is administered to induce ovulation.
The fourth stage is the follicular puncture. A small surgical intervention performed under deep sedation, whose objective is to obtain the ovules of the woman’s ovaries. It is a reliable and safe process.
The fifth and final stage of the process is the vitrification of the ovules. This part is already done in the In Vitro Fertilization laboratory. Once the ovules are obtained, everything is prepared in the laboratory for vitrification. For this, the oocyte is subjected to high concentrations of cryoprotectants to dehydrate the oocyte and prevent the formation of ice crystals that could be harmful for it. At the same time it makes a very rapid temperature drop to -196 degrees Celsius in a few seconds.
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