21 Dec Why is vitrification important?
Fertility preservation is one of the most demanded services at our clinic today.
The society in which we live implies a hectic pace of life where family and work reconciliation have no place; in which careers and master’s degrees delay entry into the world of work and thus also economic stability. Globalization in many other cases also implies staying in other countries before finally settling in a city … Society evolves over time and with it the concept of family. Faced with frantic and unstable youth, it is common to postpone motherhood.
The extension of motherhood in search of a more stable environment also implies a more mature motherhood. But if society evolves, biology does not; and we find ourselves with little compatible realities. When we are socially and mentally prepared to start a family, the physical fails. The fertile age of a woman is short and has a clearly defined stage.
Biology does not evolve, but medicine and technology do. And today there is the possibility of vitrifying the oocytes of childbearing age and using them later. Women are born with a certain number of oocytes that decreases over the years until they reach menopause. Being the most fertile age between twenty and thirty years. Over the years, not only the ovarian reserve decreases but also its quality.
The vitrification of oocytes allows to preserve fertility at a time of maximum oocyte quality to use them later. Oocyte quality is very important to obtain good quality embryos and thus increase the chances of a successful IVF.
The delay of maternity for social reasons is not the only reason to bet on oocyte vitrification; The preservation of fertility is also of great help in cases of diseases whose treatments can affect fertility, such as cancer.
What is oocyte vitrification?
The vitrification of oocytes is a procedure that is carried out in the assisted reproduction laboratory by biologists and experts. It allows the properties of the oocytes and their quality to be kept intact over the years.
In this way, a woman that freezes her eggs at 25 years of age, will be able to use these eggs years later (the maximum age being 50 years in our assisted reproduction center) to achieve motherhood. All of this, with the assurance that the eggs have maintained the characteristics of a 25-year-old ovum.
What does oocyte vitrification consist of?
The vitrification of oocytes consists of an ultra-rapid freezing of these with liquid nitrogen (-195ºC). The process involves the use of cryoprotective agents, molecules that prevent the formation of crystals from the aqueous content of the oocyte during vitrification.
Vitrification, being an ultra-fast freezing method, manages to protect the eggs, preserve their characteristics and not damage them at any time. The oocytes can remain vitrified indefinitely without being affected.
Vitrification is a new technique in recent years that has significant advantages over the old oocyte freezing procedure, slow freezing. The main advantage is that it does not generate crystals and, therefore, manages to preserve 100% of the quality of the oocytes.
The success rate of vitrification is very high, reaching over 90% of chances of achieving pregnancy, after vitrification and IVF treatment
Kitazato’s Cryotop method, the most effective method
The Cryotop is a support composed of a plastic handle attached to a transparent structure in which the oocytes are placed for their cryopreservation. Cryotops are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks.
The Cryotop method ensures a high oocyte survival which in turn will lead to a high IVF success rate.
What does oocyte vitrification involve?
The oocyte vitrification process involves different steps:
- Ovarian stimulation, by hormonal injections, the ovaries are stimulated to obtain a certain number of oocytes.
- Ovarian puncture, in which the oocytes are retrieved.
- Vitrification of oocytes. At Reproclinic we use the Cryotop method.
- Devitrification of the oocytes when the woman wants to use them.
- Once the oocytes have been devitrified, the steps to follow are the same as in conventional IVF. At the laboratory level, the oocytes will be fertilized, then they will be cultivated to the blastocyst stage. Good quality blastocysts will be transferred and / or vitrified. As for the patient, she must undergo an endometrial preparation for the transfer.
Devitrification of oocytes
Devitrification of oocytes involves a rapid change in temperature. The Cryotop goes from being immersed in liquid nitrogen at -195ºC to a medium at 37ºC in seconds. In this way, the oocytes detach themselves from the Cryotop and are transferred by different ways with decreasing concentrations of cryoprotectants, thus rehydrating the oocytes. Two hours after devitrification, the oocytes will be microinjected using ICSI.
At Reproclinic we recommend betting on vitrification for those women who, for one reason or another, want to postpone their motherhood; are going to receive a treatment that could harm their fertility; have undergone several surgeries on the ovary; or have a low ovarian reserve.
Give each other this Christmas the most beautiful gift: that of pampering and taking care of yourself, that of thinking about you, that of investing in your health and your desires, and that of taking control of your life! And how can you get it? Vitrifying your eggs, in order to save time and quality. If you want more information, get in touch with us, or go for a free first visit.