Egg freezing and beyond?
Oocyte vitrification or egg freezing is a simple process that preserves female gametes or eggs at a fertile age and allows them to be used when the woman is ready to become a mother.
The decision to postpone motherhood is a personal one that can be influenced by the patient’s professional life, love life or by the desire to continue their personal development. Women now can choose to start their family when it is right for them.
How long can you keep vitrified eggs?
Vitrification lasts indefinitely: the quality of the eggs will not deteriorate over time and they can be kept for as long as the woman wants. To ensure maximum quality of the eggs, we recommend carrying out the procedure before the age of 35 in order to avoid a lower ovarian reserve to ensure an adequate number of eggs and to avoid genetic problems in future embryos.
It is also important to choose a clinic that uses vitrification instead of freezing. The vitrification technique is now used almost systematically for preserving eggs and embryos, as it is a much safer than slow freezing which is the technique which was formerly used.
The age limit for devitrifying or thawing the eggs and using them with assisted reproductive techniques (In vitro fertilization) in Spain is up to 50.
I am ready to be a mother now
Vitrification is not always the first option offered to prospective mothers. Sometimes another treatment is possible if you are not getting pregnant. If you are younger than 35, our advice is to consult a fertility specialist after trying to conceive naturally for one year. If you are between 36 and 40, you should consult after trying to achieve pregnancy for six months. If you are older than 40, we advise you to seek help after three months.
Your specialist will then assess your fertility and recommend the most appropriate action for you: ovarian stimulation, insemination or if you have frozen eggs, it may be the time to use them.
If you are single, you can use donor sperm, which will be chosen according to your physical characteristics (race, eye color, hair colour, skin color, your height andblood group).
Using vitrified eggs for IVF
If your specialist recommends the use of your vitrified eggs, your lab will use In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to obtain the embryos to be transferred to the uterus.
You will have to follow a hormone treatment plan to prepare your uterus for implantation, which will be much simpler than ovarian stimulation. It is a very short and simple process, and the patient will only need to visit the clinic on the day the embryo is transferred. If the patient has a partner, he must leave a sperm sample on the day the embryos are to be devitrified in order to proceed with fertilization.
The chances of success with this technique depend heavily on the age of the patient when the gametes were vitrified, and the number of frozen eggs. We calculate that the chances of
success are around 60% when the woman vitrifies her eggs under the age of 35 and has 10 to 15 eggs vitrified.
What happens if I do not use my vitrified eggs?
Patients who fall pregnant naturally or decide they do not want to use their frozen eggs can either donate the eggs to another couple if they froze their eggs before 35, or ask that their eggs no longer be preserved.