Delayed motherhood: cryopreservation of oocytes
Most men, up to the older age, retain the ability to fertilize. Yet, even when they are perfectly healthy, women, after thirty-five years, often have difficulties trying to conceive naturally.
For this reason, many women are considering cryopreserving (freezing) their eggs. In the future, when motherhood becomes their top priority, this procedure increases their chances of having a healthy baby.
Reasons for resorting to cryopreservation:
• Malignant tumor. Treatment of cancer with chemotherapy, irradiation or surgery in the pelvic region can cause infertility.
• Bad working conditions. There are professions in which the body is exposed to aggressive harmful substances, reducing the quality of eggs.
• Forced uterine or ovarian removal. In this case, only vitrification of oocytes makes it possible to have a biological baby in the surrogacy program.
• For successful IVF. If, at the time of the egg retrieval, the male sperm does not meet certain requirements, then cryopreservation is a great opportunity to preserve the egg until the semen quality is improved.
• Personal reasons. Unstable financial situation or absence of a decent man makes a woman to freeze eggs until the better time comes.
Benefits of vitrification
At the age of 18 to 30 years, the egg has the highest viability, and rapid freezing can preserve these quality cells.
After 30 years, the risk of having a baby with genetic abnormalities increases, and mature women use an IVF procedure with their own young eggs to reduce the risk.
Freezing sperm is possible for further use in infertility treatment programs.
Cryopreservation of sperm is performed by various indicators: for insemination from a partner or a sperm donor, for conducting IVF using sperm of a partner or a donor, for storage before future surgery, after which a significant decrease in male fertility is possible.
Cryopreservation of embryos
If during the IVF procedure it is possible to obtain more embryos than it is necessary for one ET, at the request of a couple they can be saved by cryopreservation. The advantage of this procedure is that the woman gets an extra chance without re-stimulating superovulation and only prepares for ET.
Cryopreservation is a “biological support” for the couple: it is not possible to predict exactly whether stimulation and fertilization will succeed during the next attempt. By retaining the remaining embryos, the couple increases their chances. Cryopreservation also gives patients economic benefits – the cost of storing, thawing and transporting the embryo is much lower than the “fresh” attempt at IVF.