What Is Oocytes? Oocyte Vitrification Treatment & Egg Donation Centre
Oocytes (Egg Cells) are female gametes – the female cells which have the potential to conceive another human being if fertilized by a male gamete (i.e., sperm, known scientifically as spermatozoon). Each female is born with a finite number of oocytes in her ovaries. She does not produce any more eggs throughout her life. The eggs are released periodically during the woman’s reproductive years, through the natural process of ovulation. Each time a woman ovulates (i.e., has a menstrual cycle), a single egg is released from the ovaries, once it has matured to the point that it is ready for fertilization. It will then enter into the fallopian tubes, where if get in contact with Sperm, it may be fertilized, and it will form a pregnancy. If the egg not fertilized, it will continue moving through the fallopian tubes and leave the body via the vagina.
What is Oocyte Vitrification?
Oocyte Vitrification is one of the techniques used for maintaining the existing state of fertility. It allows a woman’s reproductive capacity to be postponed for longer period of time, with the same possibilities as at the point when the oocytes are vitrified. With the vitrification of oocytes, women can reach middle age without experiencing any significant decrease in their ability to conceive a child in the future.
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a method used to preserve a woman’s reproductive potential.
Eggs are harvested from your ovaries, frozen unfertilized and stored for later use. A frozen egg can be thawed, combined with sperm in a lab and implanted in your uterus (in vitro fertilization). However, only a small portion of eggs that are frozen, thawed and implanted result in the birth of a baby.
Your doctor can help you understand how egg freezing works, the potential risks and whether this method of fertility preservation is right for you.
Why it’s done
Egg freezing might be an option if you’re not ready to become pregnant now but want to try to ensure your ability to get pregnant or have a biological child in the future.
You need to use fertility drugs to induce ovulation so that you’ll produce multiple eggs for retrieval. You might consider egg freezing if:
- You’re about to undergo cancer treatment. Certain cancer treatments — such as radiation or chemotherapy — can harm your fertility. Egg freezing before treatment might allow you to have biological children at a later date.
- You’re undergoing in vitro fertilization. If your partner isn’t able to produce sufficient sperm on the day you have your eggs retrieved, egg freezing might be needed. When undergoing in vitro fertilization, some people prefer egg freezing to embryo freezing for religious or ethical reasons.
Egg freezing might be appealing if you’re concerned about age-related infertility, but the method isn’t recommended for this purpose due to the risks, costs and limited success rates.
You can use your frozen eggs to try to conceive a biological child with sperm from a partner. The embryo can also be implanted in the uterus of a gestational carrier.
How you prepare
If the expense of egg freezing is a concern, ask for detailed information about the costs associated with each step of the procedure and the annual storage fees.
Before beginning the egg-freezing process, you’ll likely need screenings, including :
- Ovarian reserve testing. To determine the quantity and quality of your eggs, your doctor might test the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood on day three of your menstrual cycle. Test results can help predict how your ovaries will respond to fertility medication.
- Infectious disease screening. You’ll be screened for certain infectious diseases, such as HIV. Potentially infectious eggs are stored differently than are other eggs.
Before going forward with egg freezing, consider important questions, including:
- When do you plan to become pregnant? Weigh the probability that you’ll be able to become pregnant at that age against the probability of a successful pregnancy with the use of eggs that have been frozen.
- How many eggs would you like to freeze? Most fertility experts recommend freezing a total of 20 to 30 eggs and thawing six to eight eggs for each pregnancy attempt, depending on your age and egg quality. As a result, you might need to undergo ovarian stimulation — in which you inject medication to stimulate your ovaries — more than once.