All women are born with a set number of eggs, which are “used” throughout their life. Certain factors, such as heavy smoking, severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chemotherapy and surgery can seriously reduce ovarian reserves of eggs. It is estimated that women are born with almost 2 million eggs, but by the time they reach puberty, this number has fallen to approximately 300,000.
Recently introduced vitrification techniques allow women to freeze and preserve eggs. Vitrification offers tremendous hope to women who opt to have eggs stored at a younger age, and preserve their fertility options. These women need to undergo IVF treatment, in the same way as the one described in “IVF” section. Mature eggs are frozen on day of egg collection. When pregnancy is desired, these eggs are thawed and fertilised using IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
Recently published data suggest that 99% of eggs cryopreserved by vitrification survive and 92% fertilise successfully. Implantation rates and pregnancy rates are in keeping with women having IVF treatments at under 35 years of age. Additionally, eggs that are collected and frozen at a younger age, carry a much lower risk of chromosomal problems and this remains the same forever, as opposed to the eggs that the same woman will produce at the time when she will opt to use her frozen eggs.