Egg freezing: Its Significance and Medical Utility
Egg freezing – It seems that freezing the eggs is fashionable. After all, if it is possible to postpone motherhood while you are looking for the ideal husband or if you are dedicated to careers, why not? In theory, it may even seem like a simple decision, but you have to know that’s not quite the case. There is a risk of withdrawal of the eggs (yes, it is a surgery), and the possibility of fertilization going wrong. The procedure is still new, it is less than twenty years old,the first baby was born only in 2002. To help you understand all this, we explain how it is done and for whom it is indicated the freezing of the eggs.
For which women is egg freezing indicated?
For those who wish to preserve their fertility because of some health problem that compromises their desire to be a mother. Either because you have to undergo cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, because there is a history of early menopause in the family or because you will have to remove an ovary, which can lead to a lower reserve of eggs.
But freezing has also been used by those who want to postpone motherhood. Are there any risks?
In fact, more and more the freezing is used with this social function. It must be remembered, however, that even if the woman decides to become pregnant at age 40, for example, with frozen eggs at age 32, her pregnancy will be compatible with her age at conception. That is, you are more likely to diagnose high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. On the other hand, because the health of the eggs is linked to the age of the woman at the time of withdrawal, there is less risk of the baby having diseases such as Down syndrome. Still, everything will also depend on the genetic load of the mother, which is independent of age.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for freezing the eggs?
There is no minimum age for freezing. It can happen from the moment there is a maturation of the woman’s hormonal axis, which can be at 16, 17 years. But at this stage there is no reason to freeze unless there is a health problem. As for the maximum age, the ideal is to freeze up to 40 years, because from there is a drop in egg production.
How is the egg frozen?
First, the woman has to take hormones to induce ovulation. They can lead to the production of 15 to 20 eggs. A transvaginal aspiration puncture is then made to remove the eggs, in a surgical center and under anesthesia. Soon after, the eggs are taken to liquid nitrogen at minus 196 ° C (this is the technique called vitrification). The procedure has no cuts and lasts about 15 minutes. The woman can be released after an hour.
What are the risks of the procedure?
The risks are from anesthesia, as in any surgery, and, in rare cases, hyperstimulation syndrome, in which the ovaries respond exacerbated to the hormones applied, producing a quantity of eggs much larger than expected. Symptoms of this condition include abdominal pain, nausea and bloating.
How long can the eggs be frozen?
The consensus is that the time is undetermined and the eggs do not lose quality. In the world, healthy, frozen ovum babies have been born for 15 years.
What is the procedure when the woman decides to get pregnant with frozen eggs?
Once the thawing is done, the woman will undergo in vitro fertilization. That is, the companion’s semen is collected and the sperm injected into the mature egg. The embryos are formed in the laboratory, which must evolve for three days, and then those of better quality are chosen to be transferred to the woman. The chance of pregnancy is around 40%, the same as the fertilization with fresh eggs. Among the problems that may occur is the non-survival of the egg after thawing and non-fertilization of the embryo.
Can babies born from frozen eggs have any problems in the future?
No, the incidence of anomalies is the same as in traditional gestations.
How much does the egg freeze cost?
The induction and puncture procedure is between R $ 12 and R $ 17 thousand.