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Egg Freezing

What is Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a medical procedure to store your frozen eggs for future use. Egg freezing is for women who have pregnancy goals but aren’t ready to have children yet. The procedure involves freezing your eggs using liquid nitrogen in a cryobank. These eggs help you get pregnant through assisted reproductive technology.
Note that the chances of conceiving through frozen eggs are comparatively lower than fresh eggs. However, it gives you hope that you can have a biological child in the future. Let’s learn more about egg freezing and how it works.

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Egg Freezing Process

You need to see a fertility specialist to discuss your menstrual cycle, family history of pregnancy and menopause, and your conception goals. Here’s what happens next.

Preparation

Your doctor will order blood work and hormone tests to assess your menstrual and ovulation cycles. An AMH test might be needed to get your egg count. Additional tests are required based on age, medical history, and existing medical conditions (if any).

Ovarian Stimulation
Your ovaries contain an egg reserve consisting of all the eggs that will be released in your lifetime. These eggs are released, one at a time, during ovulation. However, your egg count declines as you age. The fewer eggs left in your ovaries, the lower the chances of conception.
To get maximum mature eggs, your fertility specialist will conduct ovarian stimulation—a procedure that quickly matures your eggs and releases multiple eggs at a time. The treatment requires hormonal injections, which are scheduled following your menstrual cycle.

Some women are advised to take birth control pills a few weeks before the treatment begins. This improves the effectiveness of the hormone injections.
Your doctor will order multiple tests to assess the effectiveness of the hormone injections. An ultrasound is also done to track ovulation.

Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval is performed with a transvaginal ultrasound, where an ultrasound probe is inserted into your ovarian follicles through the cervix to harvest ripened eggs. If that doesn’t work, an abdominal surgery might be necessary for successful egg retrieval. Your doctor will aim to harvest multiple eggs, as it increases your chances of getting pregnant later.

Egg Freezing
The most crucial step in the egg-freezing process is storage. The extracted eggs are frozen immediately. Vitrification helps prevent the formation of ice crystals on the eggs. This improves the viability of your mature eggs and makes them suitable for fertilization.
IVF
When you are ready to conceive, these eggs will be kept in a petri dish with your partner’s sperm for fertilization. They will form an embryo, which is then implanted into the woman’s uterus through a minimally invasive procedure.

Why Consider Egg Freezing?

Societal expectations and women’s goals regarding fertility have changed, but the biological factor remains the same. You might want to pursue your education or career in your prime reproductive years.
While there’s nothing wrong with waiting, postponing pregnancy comes with its share of risks. For starters, your fertility declines with age. As you enter your 40s, the chances of conception drop to 5% per each ovulation cycle.
Having biological children is the dream of many women. However, not everyone is ready to conceive during their 20s and 30s. Since your egg quality and count decline with age, your chances of getting pregnant decrease gradually. Your best bet is to freeze your healthy eggs and store them for whenever you are ready for conception. Here are some common reasons why one might consider egg freezing.
There can be other reasons why a couple may opt for egg freezing. Before proceeding, you must discuss your goals with a fertility specialist and get the required tests done.

How Long Can Eggs Be Stored?

Technological advancements have made it possible for couples to freeze their eggs for as long as they want. The eggs can stay frozen forever. There’s no time limit to get your eggs fertilized.

Most parents use the frozen eggs within 5-10 years, but if you want to take longer, that’s possible, too. If you do not use your frozen eggs, you can donate or discard them. Egg freezing time also depends on the fertility center you choose and the technology used to preserve the viability of your eggs.

Benefits of Egg Freezing

If you are worried about female infertility due to aging or have other fertility-related concerns, egg freezing can help. Here are the top benefits of egg freezing.
No Biological Clock
Women who want to pursue their career goals can have peace of mind knowing that their frozen eggs can be used to achieve pregnancy whenever they want. There’s no need to worry about aging or finding the right partner in your 20s. With oocyte cryopreservation, you can plan pregnancy when you are ready.
Get Healthy Before Pregnancy
Women diagnosed with chronic illnesses that require prolonged treatment might have to delay pregnancy. If you are concerned about your health (be it mental or physical), you can freeze your eggs and plan conception later. Your health comes first. If your treatment is over within a short period, you can plan natural conception. However, if it takes too long, you can count on your eggs to conceive whenever you feel fit.
Gender Transition
If you are considering gender transition but do not want to lose your ability to have biological children, egg freezing is your only option. Before the treatment begins, you can see a fertility specialist and freeze your eggs so you can have children even after the transition.
IVF
If you are a PCOS patient or have other reproductive conditions that make conception difficult, you can choose Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to get pregnant. This requires fresh or frozen eggs.

Alternatives to Egg Freezing

While egg freezing is the safest and most successful method for egg preservation, it may not work for every woman. Those undergoing cancer treatment or other prolonged medical procedures that require immediate care might not have adequate time to undergo egg freezing. Here are a few alternatives to egg freezing you can consider.
Embryo Freezing
If you have already chosen a partner and both of you want pregnancy in the future, embryo freezing is your best option. Instead of freezing the eggs alone, you can opt for embryo freezing, which requires fertilizing the egg with your partner’s sperm and freezing it for future use.
Embryo freezing is more effective and has a higher chance of resulting in a successful pregnancy than egg freezing. The procedure is similar to egg freezing, except that your eggs are combined with your partner’s sperm in a lab before being frozen.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing
In some cases, hormone therapy can be unfit for the patient. Those undergoing hormone-driven cancer treatment or have a history of such illnesses can opt for ovarian tissue freezing. The procedure requires surgical removal of part or the entire ovarian tissue, which is then frozen in the cryobank.

The ovarian tissues are then implanted back into the woman’s body, hoping the eggs will mature. The best part about this procedure is that you can get pregnant naturally or through IVF.

Cost of Egg Freezing in Pakistan

The cost of egg freezing in Pakistan is included in the IVF package. It’s costs  can be higher if you choose additional procedures like ICSI, PGS, etc. The cost also depends on whether you want to freeze eggs or an embryo.

Best Medical Center for Egg Freezing in Pakistan

So, are you searching for “egg-freezing clinics near me”? Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center is your best choice if you want to preserve your fertility by freezing your eggs. You get a free consultation, and if you’re going to continue, you can book an appointment and discuss your fertility goals with their trained and experienced fertility specialists.

The sooner you freeze your eggs, the better. The best age for egg freezing is your 20s or early 30s. You’re likely to get multiple high-quality eggs in your prime reproductive years.
According to this study, egg-freezing success rates are as follows: Women between 35 and 37 have an 80% chance of a successful live birth through frozen eggs. Women aged 40-42 years have a 50% chance of a successful live birth from egg freezing, given that they freeze at least 30 mature eggs.
The procedure is safe but can cause common side effects, including bloating, cramping, and mild spotting. Long-term effects of egg freezing are rare but possible. It includes OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome), which can cause excessive weight gain, nausea, and pain.
Frozen eggs are united with the sperm for fertilization. Once these eggs are fertilized, they form an embryo, which is implanted into a woman’s uterus. You can take a pregnancy test 10-12 days following the procedure.

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