You want babies but wish to postpone the decision of making babies into the near future because of the career boom, medical health, and medical treatment, or maybe gender change. Embryo Freezing is a medical boon and one of the greatest achievements of the ART- assisted reproductive technology.
Embryo freezing is a process that helps in allowing people to store embryos for later use. This process has existed for over two decades and is now increasingly seen as an option for reversing the ticking biological clock.
Women freeze their eggs because of multiple reasons. Some of the reasons are:
Freezing embryo while at a younger age lets them focus on career and they can plan babies later in life.
- Long-Term Partner
Lack of suitable long-term partner makes some women postpone the decision of having babies and freezing the embryos helps them benefit from younger eggs.
- Post-IVF or ICSI
After the process of IVF (In vitro fertilization) or ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) treatment, there are good quality embryos left after embryo transfer. So patients opt for embryo freezing so that it can be used at a later date or for donating to siblings.
- Same-sex Couples
The same-sex couples or other LGTBQ+ people who wish to make babies can benefit from embryo freezing.
- Genetic Disorders
People with genetic disorders that can affect reproduction opt for embryo freezing.
- Radioactive Treatments
Certain medications or medical treatment like chemotherapy makes embryo freezing the right choice just before the radioactive treatment.
How Does Embryo Freezing Happen?
The patient has injected hormone stimulation medication for over 8-12 days and this stimulates ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are fertilized using IVF before they are frozen and let develop into embryos. The frozen embryos are frozen in sealed containers at low temperatures of -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this temperature, no biological process such as aging can occur and hence the embryos can remain viable for any length of time.
The best fertility expert of Punjab, Dr. Shivani Bhutani, says that an embryo can be frozen for over 10 years to 50 years. Embryos are not affected by the length of time they are frozen for.
The Process of Freezing
The biggest hindrance in the process of freezing is the water that gets collected within the cells, which can lead to crystals after freezing and can burst the cell. The process of Cryopreservation leads to replacing water with a substance called cryoprotectant.
The embryo is then frozen, using slow cooling process or fast freezing process called vitrification. Vitrification is a flash or fast freezing technology which has brought a phenomenal improvement in the success rate of cryopreserved embryos.
The Advantages of Freezing Embryo
Dr. Shivani Bhutani has seen a radical change in the lives of patients who opt for embryo freezing on the following accounts:
- Additional Chance to Conceive
In case fresh embryo transfer isn’t successful, frozen embryo gives the patient the possibility of trying again without going through the process of ovarian stimulation medications.
- Greater Success Rates
During the ovarian stimulation process, if the progesterone levels rise, the endometrium or uterine lining becomes less receptive to embryo implantation. In that case, the doctor recommends using frozen embryos as the process can be performed without stimulation medications. This increases the chances of success rates better than the fresh transfer of embryos.
- Plan Your Family Anytime
Vitrified embryos can help the patient maintain the reproductive potential far beyond the proverbial biological clock. The patient can plan babies at just any age.
- Mitigates Risks
Patients with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHS) benefit from embryo freezing as the frozen embryo can safely be transferred. Even the couples who are at risk of passing on certain genetic conditions to their children can test the embryos for genetic mutations and ensure that no abnormality is passed on to the next generation.
The Last Words
When opting for embryo freezing, care must be taken in assessing the credentials and the number of success stories at the back of the doctor.
Dr. Shivani Bhutani is the most renowned IVF specialist in Punjab and has earned a name in addressing the concerns and doubts of the patients with her acumen and patience.