Egg Freezing at Birla Fertility & IVF
Egg freezing is the process that involves collecting unfertilised eggs and storing them in a state of suspended animation for future IVF cycles. Over the years, it has become increasingly popular amongst women who wish to delay their pregnancy for medical or social reasons.
At Birla Fertility & IVF, we use the latest cryopreservation technique for optimal results. Our team is experienced in performing flash-freezing and works in seamless collaboration with multidisciplinary teams whenever needed for comprehensive fertility preservation.
Why Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing is recommended in the following situations:
For women who wish to delay their pregnancy for personal or professional reasons
For women who are about to undergo treatments or surgeries that can impact their fertility like chemotherapy
For women with medical conditions like autoimmune disorders that can negatively impact their fertility in the future
The Egg Freezing Process
Prior to the treatment, you will be tested for certain infections like HIV and hepatitis. You will also undergo an ovarian reserve test to assess the count and quality of eggs present in your ovaries.
This step involves taking a course of hormone-based fertility medications that stimulate follicle growth and increase egg production in the ovaries. These medications can either be oral medications or in the form of injections.
The dosage and type of fertility medication used is based on the results of your ovarian reserve test, age and situation. During ovarian stimulation, your response to the medications used is monitored through routine ultrasounds and blood tests. Once the follicles have reached the desired size, the doctor will schedule the egg retrieval procedure.
Egg retrieval is a minor day-care procedure which is performed under general anaesthesia. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the ovaries through the vagina under ultrasound guidance and mature eggs are collected using gentle suction. Generally multiple eggs are collected and frozen.
Antifreeze agents or cryoprotectants are added to protect the harvested eggs during the freezing process. These agents prevent ice crystals from forming inside the eggs. The eggs are frozen using liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C and stored in a state of suspended animation till they have to be fertilised for IVF.
Frequently Asked Questions
Egg quality is said to deteriorate exponentially after a woman reaches a certain age (generally over the age of 35). In cases of advanced maternal age, apart from difficulty in natural conception, there is also a higher risk of the baby being born with congenital defects such as Down Syndrome. Women are advised to explore the option of egg freezing in their 20s or early 30s.
The whole cycle will take around 15 days and consists of a course of approximately 15 injections (the exact number may vary based on your ovarian reserve and response to the fertility medication.
The vitrification process involves dehydrating harvested eggs and replacing the fluid inside the egg with a special antifreeze agent or cryoprotectant to prevent the formation of ice crystals within the egg during the freezing process. Liquid nitrogen (-196°C) is used to flash freeze the egg. At this temperature, all metabolic activity is stopped, and the egg can be stored indefinitely in this suspended animation state.
Egg freezing is recommended for women who need to undergo cancer treatments. It is also helpful in situations where there is a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer or breast cancer especially if there is a family history of the same, considering egg freezing is recommended
For social egg freezing, guidelines state that maximum time for storage of frozen eggs is 10 years. For cancer fertility preservation, the stipulated duration is extended till use.
Most procedures involved in egg freezing are painless and during the egg retrieval process, you will be given general anaesthesia and will not be able to feel any pain during the procedure.
In some situations, egg or embryo freezing may not be viable like for women who cannot delay their treatments till the end of the ovarian stimulation protocol. In such cases, ovarian cortex freezing is recommended. It is an experimental procedure that has shown promising results around the world.
First of all, I would like to thank the Birla Fertility doctors and staff for making us feel happy with a positive result. All the services are top-notch with full support and care. Thank you, everyone.
Manju and Rohit
Best IVF hospital in Gurgaon. All the latest technology and facilities are available at Birla Fertility. As of now, we do not want a baby, so our doctor suggested egg freezing. It is a good option for people like us who are not ready for a family. The doctors’ team and the staff were very professional and helpful. Fully satisfied with the IVF treatment experience.
Kanchan and Kishor