Delayed Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know About Egg Cryopreservation

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Delayed Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know About Egg Cryopreservation
Delayed Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know About Egg Cryopreservation
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"Delayed pregnancy": everything you need to know about egg cryopreservation

The technique enables a woman to give birth to a healthy child at a late reproductive age and even after the onset of menopause, and at the same time it is quite safe. The obstetrician-gynecologist, Ph.D., told about who is shown cryopreservation of oocytes and how it happens. Tatiana Rumyantseva.

"Delayed pregnancy": everything you need to know about egg cryopreservation
"Delayed pregnancy": everything you need to know about egg cryopreservation

Photo: USDA Gene Bank

Age and fertility - who has what chances of getting pregnant on their own?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if a woman does not have contraception within 12 months of regular sex, the likelihood of onset is:

74% under the age of 31

  • 62% at 31-35 years old
  • 54% over the age of 35

If a woman is trying to get pregnant using in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology, the chances are:

41.5%, under the age of 35

  • 32% in 35-37 years
  • 22% at 38-40 years old
  • 12% at 41-42 years old - 12%,
  • 5% at 43-44 years old - 5%,
  • 1% over the age of 44

But when using the eggs of a young woman, the chance of pregnancy is approximately 50%, regardless of the age of the recipient. With the help of cryopreservation, a woman can freeze her eggs in case she, for some reason, does not plan a pregnancy, but wants to become a mother in the future. If a woman freezes her eggs at age 30 and decides to give birth, for example, at age 40, her chances of a successful pregnancy will be greatly increased as she uses the biomaterial of a young woman. And if frozen eggs are not needed, they can be disposed of or donated to other women.

How does cryopreservation work?

This is a fairly simple medical manipulation. A woman is stimulated to ovulate with the same drugs as in the IVF protocol, and then under anesthesia with a thin needle, eggs are taken from the follicles. As a rule, a healthy young woman needs no more than one stimulation cycle to receive a sufficient number of eggs - 10-20. You must also understand that one egg does not equal one child.

Cryopreservation of oocytes is also possible in the natural cycle, that is, without stimulating ovulation. In this case, the egg will be collected every month until an adequate amount of biomaterial is obtained. However, this option will require much more time and cost.

After collecting the eggs, the embryologists freeze them and send them to the cryostorage, where they will be stored as long as you wish. It is also possible to freeze the embryos obtained after fertilization of the egg with the partner's sperm. This option increases the chances of a successful pregnancy, but in this case it is impossible to change the biological father of the child.

You can use your eggs at any time, as soon as you are ready for it. For example, you wanted to become a mother and you weren't able to get pregnant naturally. In this case, they are thawed, fertilized with the sperm of a partner or donor, embryos are obtained and transferred into the uterine cavity. As a rule, hormones are prescribed in the cycle where the embryo is transferred.

“The sooner you decide to freeze your cells, the better! It's great if you manage to do it before age 35,”writes Rumyantseva.

In Moscow clinics, the average cost of all manipulations is about 150 thousand rubles, egg storage will cost 1000 rubles a month.

How safe is it?

Tatyana Rumyantseva emphasizes that every medical manipulation has its own risks. There is no evidence that stimulation of ovulation causes cancer or brings menopause, but theoretically there is a small risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, bleeding, or infectious complications after a puncture.

It is known for certain that egg freezing does not affect their quality and does not affect the health of the child, therefore doctors consider this method of creating a reproductive "safety cushion" very promising.

Who needs oocyte cryopreservation?

This manipulation can be done by any woman who wants to become a mother in the long term and thus increase her chances of pregnancy. But there are situations when a woman needs to do this - for example, in the case of a cancer diagnosis. If a girl or young woman is diagnosed with cancer, as a rule, she is not thinking about having children, but about saving her life. But the problem is that after chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it is often impossible to get pregnant. Therefore, if a woman really wants to become a mother in the future, she needs to contact a reproductive specialist before starting therapy.

“And finally: the possibility of cryopreservation of oocytes is not a reason to postpone pregnancy plans until the age of 40+, because at this age the risk of pregnancy losses and many obstetric complications increases. But this is a good safety net in case of problems, if now you are healthy and full of energy, but children are not at all included in your plans,”notes Tatyana Rumyantseva.

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