Fertility specialists consider the cryopreservation of oocytes, or social freezing, as the new frontier of fertilization. Many women, today, due to impossibility or by choice find themselves postponing a child’s project. There are those who have to make an intervention that can affect fertility. Also, those who need to undergo chemotherapy for cancer. Furthermore, women who have early menopausal cases in the family. Finally, those who expect to find themselves in the right conditions, from an economic and emotional point of view, to think of a family. Or even those who want to freeze their oocytes just in case.
What is social freezing?
Social freezing offers a stock which can be used by an older woman and after 12 to 18 months of not being able to conceive naturally. The use of the eggs will happen with medically assisted procreation procedures.
Who can use it?
It is necessary to bear in mind 3 important markers:
The ovarian reserve.
The egg thawing ability.
The percentage of term pregnancies
The woman’s age influences these three markers. This happens because when a woman gets older these markers worsen.This means that in order to have the same possibilities of conception a greater number of female gametes will be needed.
What are the chances of success?
Up to the age of 36, collecting 8-10 oocytes, you will have 40-60% chance of completing the pregnancy in the future. After the 36 years, instead, freezing the same number of egg cells, it will have a percentage of 20-30%. After 38 years, it is more difficult to collect the right amount of eggs with a single ovarian stimulation. They could therefore serve more stimulations.
Freezing an adequate number of oocytes is very important for a satisfactory outcome of the operation as not all survive and not all are fertilized. The oocyte is very delicate and not very resistant. It does not tolerate the stress of thawing well in contrast to spermatozoa and embryos. Finally, this does not mean that the thawed eggs will be successfully fertilized.
What are the side effects?
These days, the side-effects are practically non-existent. The type of protocols available today have reduced the risk of ovarian over stimulation. This used to be a problem in the past.
Where can you go?
Personally, I have chosen the IVF laboratory of the REA private clinic in Athens because It has the highest survival rates and fertilization during defrosting.