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Oocyte Freezing. Do We Still Have Time?

Nowadays, a fast oocyte freezing method, also called vitrification, allows otherwise sensitive oocytes to stop the cell cycle and survive for years in a liquid nitrogen environment. In the future, the oocytes can be thawed again if necessary and used in family planning.

How many eggs do I have left?

At birth, a girl has about a million egg cells, but over the years the number will gradually decrease. A teenage girl has about 400,000 oocytes left and a total of about 400 egg cells mature during her fertile age. Every month, about 30 oocytes start their journey from the woman’s ovaries, but sex hormones usually make one (rarely two) eggs predominate and release them from the ovary. When an ovulated egg meets a sperm in the fallopian tube, a new life begins.

The number and quality of eggs begin to decline significantly, usually in woman’s 30s. If a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular, it is definitely worth discussing with your gynecologist. An irregular cycle can sometimes indicate problems with egg maturity or release. There are a small number of women who usually run out of eggs earlier, in which case they are diagnosed with POF, Premature Ovarian Failure. It is definitely worth asking your mother and grandmother when they started menopause, but it’s much safer to ask your gynecologist about various hormone tests and other methods that will help assess your ovarian reserve (i.e woman’s egg supply).

 

TIME affects oocyte quality the most.

 

Since women are born with a certain number of oocytes (and their bodies won’t create any „extra“ during lifetime), it’s very important to realize that lifestyle and environment have a significant impact on the quality of her eggs. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, overweight and stress all have a negative effect on our health and certainly also reduce the quality of egg cells.

Do I still have time?

Many women in their twenties are not thinking about starting a family, when in fact this is the best time to have a child. The social trend is to postpone family planning, but it’s not always known that in our 30s, the supply and quality of oocytes will start to decreases every year. Today, we are mistakenly given the impression that we can stop the time, stay youthful and beautiful longer. Pictures of famous actresses and TV stars who become parents for the first time in their 40s and even in early 50s! are also misleading. It’s often overlooked how long these women have been struggling with fertility issues, or weather they’ve had infertility treatment with donor eggs.

Fertility Clinic Nordic’s embryologists have an extensive experience in freezing oocytes, success rate of thawed ova is around 95%. Egg freezing may be considered by a 25-35 year old women who want to postpone family planning for various reasons. Nowadays, however, the dominant reason for oocyte freezing is so-called social freezing. For various reasons, many women now decide to have a baby in their 40s. It is generally known that the ability to conceive decreases with age. Freezing eggs and cryopreserving them does not guarantee you the birth of a child, but in order to give a woman at this age a chance to have her biological child, it is possible to freeze her eggs in her “reproductive youth” and use them later in life.

Read more about Oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) in Fertility Clinic Nordic.

 

Author: Karin Rosenstein

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