Not quite ready to start a family?
Give yourself time, save your eggs with Personal Egg Banking™
When a woman wishes to start a family is a personal choice, but it’s no secret that fertility typically declines with age. Decreased ovarian reserve is a result of the natural aging process as the number of eggs with the potential to produce a successful pregnancy declines.
That’s why the EMBIO is pleased to offer Personal Egg Banking™ (also known as Elective Oocyte Cryopreservation) as a proactive means for women to preserve their future fertility. This is accomplished by giving women the option of cryopreserving, or freezing, their eggs until they are ready to use them. So, a woman could potentially freeze her eggs at age 32 and choose to use them several years later to achieve pregnancy.
While there are no guarantees that a frozen egg will lead to a pregnancy and live birth after thaw, Personal Egg Banking™ can increase a woman’s chances of conception later in life with her own eggs. Current management of age-related infertility includes the use of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with a woman’s own eggs, or Donor Egg IVF where eggs are obtained from a younger, more fertile donor. Though success rates are very good with Donor Egg IVF, many patients do not find this option attractive because the child will not have a genetic link to the mother. Freezing one’s own eggs at a younger age for use later in life can provide another option in addressing age related infertility.
To schedule a FREE Personal Egg Banking™ consultation, click here.
The Science behind Personal Egg Banking™
How does it work?
Until recently, egg freezing was an experimental procedure with limited success in only a few select programs around the world. However, the use of a specific type of freezing called vitrification, has led to a dramatic improvement in oocyte survival, fertilization rates, and pregnancy rates. Most importantly, these successes are being reported by many different centers worldwide.
Based on the reports of approximately 1,000 births worldwide through egg freezing and our own successes at GIVF, we now offer Personal Egg Banking™ to women as a means of improving their chances of conception if they plan to delay childbearing. The experience so far with frozen eggs predicts that a patient in her 40s would significantly improve her chances of a successful pregnancy if she were able to use eggs that were frozen at a younger age (e.g. 30s).
Who is a candidate for Personal Egg Banking™?
Not every woman is a good candidate for egg freezing. Women who are over 40 years of age or already have significantly decreased ovarian reserve (poor egg quality) may not benefit from egg freezing. Additionally, younger women (under age 30) need to carefully consider whether freezing eggs will be of later benefit to them. These women are more likely to conceive without assistance as they have many more years to conceive without assistance.
A major part of offering Personal Egg Banking™ to women is appropriate counseling. Key points to consider include:
Egg freezing requires ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Multiple mature eggs must be retrieved to have a realistic chance of conception after freezing and thawing. In a natural menstrual cycle, only one egg is matured each month. Therefore, patients who choose egg freezing are given medications to stimulate the maturation of multiple eggs in a single cycle (same treatment used for IVF patients). To appropriately time the egg retrieval, frequent office visits are required for blood tests and transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the development of the eggs. The eggs are retrieved by placing a needle through the back of the vagina into the ovary. This is an outpatient procedure performed in the office under anesthesia.
Freezing eggs is not a guarantee of future pregnancy and is still an emerging technology. Since egg freezing is an emerging technology, it is difficult to accurately assess the chance for pregnancy and delivery. Based on published data, largely from donor egg cycles, it is estimated that a single egg that is warmed from the vitrification method has a 4% chance of resulting in a live birth. These rates may be lower in women over the age of 32 since fertility is known to decline with advancing age and age is not the only determinant of egg quality. More recent reports and our own current experience suggest live birth rates will improve as techniques and protocols are refined, but are expected to remain low due to the inherent limited potential of a single egg producing a successful birth. As with all pregnancies, naturally or assisted, there is no guarantee of a normal outcome.