Oocyte cryopreservation, the clinical term for egg freezing, is a popular method of preserving your eggs in their youthful fertility to use at a later date. If you think you may want children in the future, but have to delay childbearing for the time being, egg freezing at our San Antonio fertility center can offer a suitable solution for preserving your fertility. Like freezing a fertilized egg, or embryo, egg freezing involves submerging your eggs in subzero temperatures to stop their biological processes and preserve them for future use. If a career, a medical condition, or other life circumstances make it difficult for you to conceive at the moment, contact us today to speak with our fertility experts about what egg freezing can do for you.
Reasons to Consider Freezing Your Eggs
Egg freezing may be right for you if you are not ready to become pregnant, but would like to have a biological child in the future. Common reasons to consider cryopreserving your eggs include:
- You are still pursuing your educational, professional, or personal goals and do not have sufficient time to start a family at the moment
- You have been diagnosed with cancer, and would like to preserve your healthy eggs before undergoing treatment
- You have a family history of early menopause
- You struggle with the concept of cryopreserving fertilized eggs, or embryos, for personal reasons
The procedure may also be a viable treatment option if your partner is unable to produce adequate sperm at the time that your eggs are retrieved for in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Freezing, or cryopreserving, your eggs is a three-step process that coincides with the beginning stages of IVF: ovulation induction and egg retrieval, followed by freezing. Before your menstrual cycle begins, you will be instructed to follow a prescribed course of hormone therapy that encourages the production of multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved before ovulation begins, and frozen shortly afterwards. When you are ready to become pregnant, your eggs can be thawed out, fertilized, and transferred into your uterus.
The Cryopreservation Process
An egg is the largest cell produced by the human body, and its high water content poses numerous challenges to successful cryopreservation. If ice crystals form, they can destroy the cell, and effective cryopreservation focuses on eliminating ice crystal formation. To address this issue, we employ several techniques for cryopreservation:
- Using cryoprotectants, which replace moisture within the egg to prevent ice crystals from forming.
- Slow freeze, which involves slowly and gradually freezing the eggs while administering increasing amounts of cryoprotectants.
- Vitrification, which is the use of high concentrations of cryoprotectants while freezing the eggs so quickly that cellular ice crystals don’t have time to form.
Freezing eggs is a great treatment option for most women who want to wait to have children, but wish to take advantage of their young, healthy eggs to fertilize them at a later date.
Speak with the Fertility Experts Today
If you know you want biological children in the future, but are unable to conceive right now because of your current circumstances, schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about egg freezing.