Egg freezing is an option for women who wish to preserve their fertility at an age when their eggs are most viable. We recommend women freeze their eggs in their 20’s or by the age of 35. There is, however, no age limit – it all depends on the woman’s body and if eggs can still be retrieved from her ovaries.
Vitrification is a flash freezing method that prevents the formation of ice crystals, which can damage the egg, sperm, embryo or ovarian tissue under other conventional freezing techniques. When eggs are frozen, they are brought from a temperature of 98.6°F (37°C) all the way down to -320°F (-196°C) instantaneously. Vitrification dehydrates the cells prior to freezing using protectants to remove as much water as possible (thus preventing harmful ice crystals from forming).
Survival rates during the thawing process for vitrification are up to 99% versus the typical 55% for traditional freezing methods because the combination of cryoprotectants and flash freezing/thawing has a better chance of safely restoring the cell back to its original state.
Eggs are one of the largest cells in the human body and are comprised of two main parts: the zona pellucida (a glycoprotein envelope) and the ooplasm (the nucleus, containing mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and the Golgi system). Because they are the largest cells in the body, they are particularly susceptible to damage from ice crystal formation.
This breakthrough in fertility preservation allows women seeking reproductive tissue preservation to bank healthy eggs prior to medical treatments that may affect their fertility.
If you wish to explore this option to preserve your fertility, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us today.
Cryopreservation (embryo freezing) – is the process of freezing embryos at a very low temperature so that they can be thawed and used later. IVF success rates with frozen embryos are very high at The Center For Reproductive Health because of our embryo transfer protocol may allow couples multiple chances to achieve pregnancy from a single oocyte retrieval cycle.
During a traditional cycle of IVF, we usually transfer 2 embryos to the uterus to maximize the chance of conception while minimizing the likelihood of multiple births.
If pregnancy does not occur during the stimulated cycle, the frozen embryos may be thawed and transferred to the uterus during a spontaneous menstrual cycle. If conception does result from the initial stimulated cycle, cryopreserved embryos can be used later in an attempt to achieve another pregnancy.
Upon completion of your IVF treatment, any remaining embryos will need to be stored for your possible future use. Cryopreserved or frozen embryos can potentially remain for an indefinite period of time at CRH’s cryobank.
Couples who have chosen IVF for their treatment may need to collect semen specimens before the procedure. Other men may want to freeze semen due to upcoming military service, occupational risks, upcoming cancer treatment, or for other personal reasons. In these cases, to preserve the fertility of the sperm it will be cryopreserved in our advanced laboratory.
No long term effects have been identified in babies born from frozen sperm, nor do they have a higher rate of birth defects. Many couples who have had difficulty getting pregnant have had success conceiving with eggs or sperm that have been frozen using the Center for Reproductive Health’s lab and cryopreservation techniques.
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