04 Feb Preservation of female fertility. What is it and for whom is it indicated?
Do you want to know what is the preservation of female fertility? We tell you all about egg freezing in our blog.
Motherhood today has changed. Every day more, it is a decision that takes longer and longer to make, due women and couples waiting for the perfect time for them to become parents.
We wait for the time that is most ideal for us. That is our moment of greater economic and labor stability before forming a family. But that moment does not always coincide with our fertile stage.
Women today choose to become mothers when they can combine it with their profession, and share this life project with the right person, in the most propitious circumstances. However, as the age advances in women, natural pregnancy is increasingly difficult. And many women choose to voluntarily preserve their fertility until the time is right.
Studies, work, economic stability, reconciliation between family and personal life… There are many factors that motivate the decision of delaying one’s time to start a family. This is a reality that we face every day in assisted reproduction clinics. And, currently, the age at which the Spanish have their first child is already around 32 years. And the rate of women who become mothers from 40 and up is the only one that grows.
However, the reality is that a woman’s fertility has an expiration date. Unlike men, who produce sperm throughout their entire lives, women have a limited number of eggs.
The fertility of women begins to decline after reaching 30 years. At 35, female fertility reaches its limit and begins a decline that can generate a higher rate of miscarriages and an increase in the possibility of genetic alterations. In addition, the achievement of a natural pregnancy decreases drastically. All this results in more and more women and couples having to resort to assisted reproduction treatments in order to become parents.
Given this situation, it is very important that women under the age of 35 years seriously value the need to preserve their fertility to be able to fulfill their maternity project later.
How is female fertility preserved?
The vitrification of ovules is a technique of assisted reproduction that allows extracting, freezing and storing eggs in optimal conditions for their preservation and subsequent use. Egg freezing is currently the most successful technique for the preservation of female fertility.
In order to keep the eggs intact, they must be frozen with very advanced and precise methods. If this is not done, ice crystals could form, damaging the cellular structure. This is because this cell is composed of 70% water. Therefore, it is necessary to resort to an advanced technique that allows keeping the oocytes intact indefinitely.
Currently, the eggs are submerged in cryoprotective media. This protects them from freezing and, subsequently, are cooled in very small volumes, very quickly, at low temperatures by introduction in liquid nitrogen at -196 ° C.
The woman must undergo egg stimulation controlled by a specialist in order to develop several follicles. Once this stage is finished and under sedation, a follicular puncture is performed and the ovules are aspirated. They are then vitrified and preserved for future use.
Who is the preservation of female fertility for?
Egg freezing is especially indicated for those women who want to postpone their motherhood for the future. Whether for personal, work and/or medical reasons. This technique is recommended for women under 35, who still have good quality ovules. The younger the woman, the higher the quality of the eggs.
As mentioned above, personal reasons are usually based on the achievement of objectives such as personal, work or economic stability; to overcome the professional objectives or the desired career plan; to find the right person with whom we want to form a life project, etc.
On the other hand, we find medical reasons. Women who must undergo cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which can put their fertility at risk, can preserve their eggs for use once the disease has been overcome.
Other diseases can also put at risk the future fertility of women, such as endometriosis, some autoimmune diseases, and even some surgeries.
Preservation of female fertility is also used by women or couples who undergo in vitro fertilization treatment and do not consider embryo freezing. Like this, if the treatment is not successful on the first attempt, the woman won’t have to undergo a new ovarian stimulation.
What happens with the eggs after it’s done?
The eggs can be kept frozen for as long as necessary, without affecting their quality. The eggs remain young and in the best conditions. This way, the woman will decide when is the best time to get pregnant.
The preservation of female fertility through egg freezing is a technique that guarantees a high survival rate of the eggs upon thawing, which is between 90-95%. And the success rate of an in vitro fertilization with frozen eggs is almost equal to that obtained with fresh (non-vitrified) eggs.
To be able to use the eggs, these must be thawed in the laboratory, where they will be fertilized with the semen of the partner or donor. Embryos are usually kept in plantations to be transferred after 5 days. The woman must undergo a hormonal treatment to prepare her endometrium to favor the implantation of the embryos. Surplus quality embryos can be frozen or donated.
If you want to know more about this technique or our assisted reproduction treatments, do not hesitate to contact Reproclinic. We will be happy to solve all your doubts and help you through your life project!
Medical Director at Reproclinic
Specialist in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
We’ll get in touch with you
Do you have questions you need answered? Contact us to request more information or an initial medical appointment, at the clinic or by videoconference. Leave us your contact information, and we’ll call you. Without any waiting lists.