What it is?

Egg freezing is the process of freezing (cryopreservation) the eggs (oocytes) that are matured inside the woman. Unfertilized mature eggs are taken or harvested from woman’s ovaries, frozen and stored. When required, this frozen egg is thawed, fertilized with sperm in the lab, and placed in the woman’s uterus.Unlike embryo freezing, egg freezing does not require sperm from a male partner.

Who can do it?

  • Healthy, fertile women who want to delay getting pregnant while preserving fertility.
  • Women with medical conditions that can affect fertility or that require medical treatments, e.g. for cancer.
  • Women who are undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

How we do it?

The entire process takes up to 2-3 weeks.

Primary screening (ovarian reserve testing and screening for infectious disease): To check the quantity and quality of your eggs, the doctor will perform antral follicle count (AFC) and anti- Müllerian hormone (AMH) tests at the beginning of your menstrual cycle.A general check-up will be done to screen for any infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Ovarian stimulation: Hormone injections will be given to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of single egg that develops every month. During your follow-up visits, the doctor will recommend a blood test to check the hormonal level and will do an ultrasound to confirm if the egg is ready for removal.

Removing the eggs: Multiple eggs are removed and are done so during sedation. Talk to your doctor to know about any precautions to take after the procedure.

Vitrification: This process is considered the “reference standard” in oocyte freeing. After 4-5 hours of removing the eggs, we use the vitrification process for freezing eggs which uses “cryoprotectants”, substances that prevent formation of ice crystals, with rapid cooling. This method increases the chances of egg survival and has improved pregnancy rates.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: How many embryos will be transferred during IVF?

A: The number of embryos transferred in the uterus depends on the age. Since the rate of implantation is lower in older women multiple embryos may be transferred. Consult with your doctor before the transfer procedure.

Q: Will IVF result in multiple pregnancy?

A: If more than one embryo is transferred, it can result in multiple pregnancy.

Q: Are there any side effects of IVF?

A: The medicines used for ovulation can cause mild pain, bloating, and nausea. This is called Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome in which the ovaries become swollen and painful.