Social freezing

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Social freezing and preservation services

Nowadays, we are using a new, advanced method known as vitrification that offers greater effectiveness in achieving improved survival of the embryos and eggs as well as a better rate of implant, clearly shown by increases in pregnancy rates.

1. Embryo freezing

Primary we offer our patient to freeze embryos which we don’t use for embryotransfer. Often with IVF or ICSI, people have a number of unused embryos after their first cycle. Some people choose to freeze them for use in later treatment cycles. We advise to cryopreserve embryos for the following reason: 1) it gives them the option of using the embryos in future cycles; 2) if the treatment needs to be interrupted after egg collections; 3) if the patient has condition, or are facing medical treatment for a condition, that might effect the patients fertility.

2. Egg freezing

Egg freezing is a method of storing a woman’s unfertilised eggs to allow her to try to conceive at a later date, when natural conception would be unlikely. It may been seen as a way of preserving the possibility of fertility for women who are not in a position to becoming pregnant straight away, or whose fertility is as risk for medical reasons such as cancer treatment. Frozen eggs may be stored for many years without significant deterioration. When the woman is ready to use her eggs, they are warmed, and then fertilised with sperm. The aim is for the fertilised egg to develop into an embryo, which can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus giving a chance of pregnancy.

Woman may consider freezing of her own oocytes because of:

  • facing medical treatment that may affect your fertility, such as some forms of cancer treatment
  • concerned about your fertility declining as you get older and feel you are not currently in a position to have a child
  • at risk of premature menopause or suffer from endometriosis which involves the ovaries.

The method for freezing eggs varies between clinics but studies show that the most effective method for freezing eggs is a rapid method called ‘vitrification’.

The steps involved:

Step 1. Before you agree to the freezing and storage of your eggs, your doctor will explain the process involved, including the risks and chance of success. Your clinic should also offer you the opportunity to discuss your feelings and any concerns you may have with a specialist counsellor.

Step 2. You will be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Step 3. You will have a course of fertility drugs and the development of follicles (fluid filled sacs containing eggs) monitored with ultrasound examinations and blood tests.

Step 4. When the eggs are mature they will be retrieved in an ultrasound guided procedure under light anaesthetic.

Step 5. The eggs are then frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. When a woman is ready to become pregnant, her eggs are thawed and then fertilised with the partner’s or a donor’s sperm. If healthy embryos develop, one is transferred to the uterus and any remaining embryos can be frozen for later use.

Storage is unlimited ans there is no negative influence of vitrification process on oocyte.

Success rates from egg freezing

The chance of a live birth is similar for vitrified and ‘fresh’ eggs used in IVF treatment. The two most important factors that determine the chance of having a baby from frozen eggs are the woman's age when the eggs were frozen and the number of eggs that are stored.

The number and quality of the eggs that develop when the ovaries are stimulated decline with increasing age. A woman in her early thirties might have 15-20 eggs available for freezing after the hormone stimulation but for women in their late thirties and early forties the number is usually much lower. Also, as women age they are more likely to have eggs with chromosomal abnormalities.

The number of eggs available for freezing and their quality is important because in every step there is a risk that some are lost. Of the eggs that are retrieved, some may not be suitable for freezing, some may not survive the freezing and thawing processes, and some may not fertilise or develop into normal embryos. Of the embryos that are transferred, only some will result in a pregnancy, and some pregnancies miscarry.

Imoportant questions to ask a doctor!

  • Whether the clinic uses the vitrification method to freeze eggs.
  • What the clinic’s success rate is for egg freezing. The best way to frame this question is by asking how many eggs have been thawed and how many live births that have resulted from these.
  • What YOUR chance of having a baby from a frozen eggs is, considering your personal circumstances such as your age and estimated ovarian reserve (a measure of how many eggs you are likely to produce).
  • How many eggs you should store to have a reasonable chance of having a baby.
  • The approximate TOTAL cost, bearing in mind that you may need more than one stimulation and egg retrieval procedure to yield enough eggs.

3. Sperm freezing

Cryopreservation of sperm  if patient need to have treatment for cancer that may affect your fertility, this is the options available to ensure you can still have children in the future. Before chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment, some of  semen, containing sperm, can be frozen and kept. Men who have to travel overseas or work in dangerous situations may also want to have their sperm frozen for use in the future.

Infertility Treatment Programs

Frozen embryo transfer

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IVF with vitrified donor oocytes

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