Oocyte Cryopreservation or egg freezing is the process of extracting, freezing, and storing of a woman’s eggs. Most importantly, egg freezing allows a woman to halt the ticking of her biological clock and bank her eggs for future use.
Egg freezing follows the same fertility protocol as in vitro fertilization (IVF), up to the point of egg retrieval. Once the eggs are retrieved, an IVF patient will proceed directly to the egg fertilization process, while an egg freeze patient will freeze and bank her eggs for future use.
Let’s keep it simple! Egg freezing follows these four steps:
1. Stimulation- hormone injections stimulate follicles to produce multiple mature eggs.
2. Extraction- eggs are extracted from the ovaries via an ultrasound-guided needle.
3. Freeze- vitrification flash-freezes eggs into glass-like cells.
4. Store- eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks at -196 degree Celsius.
If you’re like most women, you’re probably thinking, why would I ever need to freeze my eggs to halt the ticking of my biological clock? Well, for starters, most women living in the 21st century, the ticking of their biological clock does not fit their present-day commitments they have planned for themselves. But, with the option to freeze their eggs, women can focus on their present-day commitments without the fear of potential regrets down the road. It’s all about having options ladies, options, option, options!
And what is this biological clock I’m talking about?!? Stay tuned my friend, that’s up next!
Bridget is best known as a fertility nurse at Main Line Fertility.