Another study corroborating the phenomenon of age-rated decline in egg quality has shown that as the female eggs ages, an important DNA repair mechanism which functions to restore egg vitality begins to break down resulting into a reduction in the efficacy of the repair mechanism consequently a resultant egg damage.
Decreased egg quality causes all sorts of mishaps, such as; inability to conceive, implantation failure, miscarriages or children born with genetic abnormalities e.g. Down syndrome.
Even in egg freezing, the main factor that determines the chance of a successful fertilization during re-use of the frozen eggs is the age of the woman when the eggs were collected.
Surely, the fertility of women decreases as they grow older!
The ultimate goal of egg freezing is to preserve fertility for the future.
For some social and/or personal (non-medical) reasons, a woman might decide to stop her biological clock.
According to a renowned study carried out by experts in the New York University, the most common reason why women freeze their eggs is the unavailability of a partner (a non-medical reason); others being for financial, professional and committal reasons.
In some cases, undesirable medical conditions may warrant cryopreservation of eggs. Medical reasons for egg freezing include:
- Surgical procedures, Chemotherapy and/or Radiotherapy that may affect fertility via causing damage to the ovaries.
- Risk of premature ovarian failure due to chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. Fragile X syndrome).
- A family history of early menopause.
- Ovarian disease with risk of damage to the ovaries.
- Genetic mutations necessitating removal of the ovaries (e.g. BRCA mutation).
The process of retrieving eggs for cryopreservation is similar to and no more invasive than the first phase of IVF (Ovarian Stimulation For IVF).
Associated risks are minimal some of which include little chances of infection, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (enlargement of the ovaries and fluid within the pelvis & abdomen) and bleeding associated with the egg retrieval process.
For the babies, it’s as safe as normal.
Over 5,000 babies have been born from cryopreserved eggs till date. The largest study ever published on babies from frozen eggs showed no increased rate of birth defects when compared with that of the general population. This study was carried out with over 900 babies from frozen eggs. Additional results from one study showed no increased rates of chromosomal defects between embryos derived from frozen eggs compared to embryos derived from fresh eggs. Yet another study showed that pregnancy complications were not increased after egg freezing.
Ferny’s development of the most up-to-date cryopreservation methods for our patients and our continuous improvements in protocols and techniques has achieved the highest levels of success in pregnancies from oocyte cryopreservation over the last decade. In 2017, we were responsible for a successful pregnancy following 13 years of embryo cryopreservation at our facility.
As a woman, you don’t have to worry about the running clock, you can control it.