A Quick Guide to Vitrification of Eggs and How It Helps
Vitrification of eggs is a procedure in the field of assisted reproductive technology to assist single women as well as couples get pregnant by rapidly freezing the eggs, which is also known as oocyte vitrification. The vitrified eggs can then be used by the individual or couple to get pregnant at any later time in the future. The main objective of the procedure is to postpone getting pregnant at a later stage in life. There are a lot of reasons why women go for the option to preserve their eggs using this method. The most prominent one of those reasons is of course advancing age. By freezing their eggs at a young age, the process allows them to realise their dream of becoming a mother whenever they deem suitable – regardless of being partnered or not. Some of the other reasons why women choose to freeze their eggs include financial inability to raise a child, professional commitment, difficulty finding a partner to raise a child together and, family responsibilities.
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How is Vitrification of Eggs Done?
The process is done in a gradual way that involves carrying out multiple steps over a couple of days. These steps are:
- Step 1: The first page in the process of vitrification of eggs is oval stimulation. It is done by administering egg producing hormone in the patient which allows release of multiple eggs at once as opposed to just one egg being produced naturally.
- Step 2: After Step 1 is completed, there is a wait time of about 10 to 14 days to allow the egg to get fully mature and for ovulation to take place.
- Step 3: Once Step 2 reaches completion, the eggs are retrieved by using the transvaginal ultrasound aspiration process in which a small needle like instrument collects the eggs.
- Step 4: The retrieval of eggs is followed by dipping them in cryoprotective agents. This prevents formation of ice crystals inside the cell by removing its water content. It is a very crucial step, as failure to do it properly can lead to the egg being damaged.
Step 5: The final step in the procedure involves rapidly freezing the egg, once it is administered with cryoprotective agent, in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees.
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How Successful is the Vitrification of Eggs Procedure?
Egg vitrification success rates definitely depend on multiple factors, such as the quality of the eggs retrieved and the age of the aspiring mother at the time of IVF. But vitrification has proven to be quite helpful as a method of advanced assisted reproductive technology.