Oocyte Cryopreservation

As women are born with a number of eggs and that  number decreases in time, it’s important to aknowledge the importance and quality of lifestyle choices and overall health.

Egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) was introduced in the second half of the 1990s and was initially recommended for young women who were undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer. Later, the freezing of eggs has been used for various social or ethical reasons. In the last decade, methods of freezing eggs have advanced tremendously and become common practice in most infertility clinic’s laboratories.

The Main Reasons Used for Freezing Eggs Are:

Medical: recommended before chemotherapy or radiation therapy, in some cases of autoimmune diseases and certain gynecological diseases. Freezing of oocytes for medical indications is coordinated with your doctor.

Social: looking to start a family later in life, haven’t found a suitable partner yet, predisposition to a decrease in ovum reserve;

Ethical: wish to cryopreserve gametes rather than embryos.

When to Consider Freezing Your Eggs?

The main factor influencing a woman’s fertility is her age. As the number and quality of eggs begin to decline in the early 30s and decline significantly after the age of 35, it is recommended that eggs be frozen before the age of 35.

We recommend freezing the eggs 2-3 times to increase the likelihood of having a biological child  from frozen oocytes at a later age.

What is the Egg Freezing Process Like?

• Firstly, you should visit our gynecologist, who will do the necessary examinations and analyzes. If egg freezing is not contraindicated, an individual treatment plan will be drawn.

• Oocyte freezing is preceded by ovarian stimulation, during which an average of 10-15 eggs mature. Ovarian stimulation usually lasts for 2 weeks, during which time you should see a gynecologist 2-3 times to check the preparation of the ovaries by ultrasound.

• Oocytes are removed in a short (10-15 min) procedure using mild anesthesia.

• Eggs recieved are examined in a laboratory and then frozen. Today, a fast and efficient vitrification method is used to freeze oocytes, which ensures good cell viability after thawing.

• Fertility Clinic Nordic’s embryologists have extensive experience of freezing eggs and usually retain> 95% of eggs after thawing.

The number and quality of eggs begin to decline in the early 30s and decline significantly after the age of 35.

How Does Cryopreservation Work?

Photographer: Aivar Pärtel
Liquid nitrogen is used to store egg cells to achieve a low enough and a stabile temperature. This will grant the best conditions for freezing (vitrification) and thawing.

The oocytes are stored in special cryopreservation tanks filled with liquid nitrogen, where a stable environment with suitable conditions (-196 C) is ensured.

Fertility Clinic Nordic has its own egg and sperm bank and long-term experience in storing gametes and embryos. There is no time limit on egg storage in Estonia.

The cost for oocyte cryopreservation starts from 1200 €.

When and How Can Cryopreserved Eggs be Used?

If it’s not possible to have a child naturally at a later age, it is possible to use previously cryopreserved eggs and use them for in vitro treatment (IVF).

Freezing your eggs doesn’t give you a guaranteed birth of a child, but the use of frozen gametes (done at a young age) in later infertility treatment significantly increases the success of treatment and probability of the birth of a healthy child.

Women over the age of 43 usually need donor eggs to have a baby. If a woman has previously had her eggs frozen, she will be able to use her own eggs instead of eggdonation and have biological offsprings.