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Egg Freezing: Taming the Ticker of Your Biological Clock

Thanks to exciting advances in reproductive technologies, women are beginning to have some control over their biological clocks with fertility preservation through egg freezing.

More Women are Taking Charge of Their Biological Clocks

Although egg freezing has been around for years, only recently has the technology become more practical as a tool for women who desire to preserve their fertility. Due to various reasons such as building careers, obtaining advanced degrees, delays in finding their life partner, medical illnesses or uncertainty about parenthood, more women now find egg freezing as a reliable method to combat their ticking biological clock.

One thing to keep in mind is that a woman’s egg supply is already predetermined at birth. She is born with all the eggs that she will ever have. A woman’s biological age and the ‘age’ of her eggs may not always be in sync, so this is something to keep in mind. That suggests for women considering this option, freezing eggs well before age 35 is the optimal plan. However, although pregnancy success rates may be lower when egg freezing occurs after age 35, it is possible.

Recent Technological Breakthroughs for Fertility Preservation

Before any tissue can be frozen for long term storage, its water content must first be removed by special treatment with special agents that cause ‘dehydration’. Because the egg is the largest cell of the body and contains a lot of water, freezing it has been very difficult due to the tendency of ice crystals to form during the traditional ‘slow freezing’ process. At thawing, these ice crystals can expand and fracture the egg. Fortunately recent advances in freezing technology have largely overcome the ice crystal issue.

Vitrification is a process that ‘flash freezes’ the egg so rapidly that ice crystals have no time to form. As the result, frozen eggs can now survive after thawing 80% of the time (vs 10% with the older slow freezing method). To ensure a good rate of fertilization, thawed eggs are injected with sperm (ICSI) and the resulting embryos are cultured for transfer 3 or 5 days later.

More than 2000 babies have been born from frozen eggs worldwide and so far these babies have been as healthy as those conceived naturally.

Visit our Blog for More Information

Visit our blog in the coming weeks as we continue our discussion regarding fertility preservation, what’s involved, how to determine if it’s right for you and estimated costs.

Interested in hearing more about how to tame your ticker? IVFMD offers egg freezing through cost effective packages. Call us for more infomation.

Sy Le, M.D.
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