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Successful Egg Freezing with Vitrification
Egg freezing for social reasons. Egg freezing for medical reasons. Egg freezing for egg donation. This is all possible due to advancement in egg freezing technology. Vitrification, a flash freezing process, which has become available in the past few years, is enabling women to preserve their fertility, and in the case of egg donation use frozen eggs from egg donors.
Eggs are comprised of approximately 70 to 80 percent water. With the older, slow freeze process, ice crystals would often form during the thaw, and would damage the egg. With vitrification and use of a cyroprotectant ice crystals do not have time to form.
According to Dr. Andy Huang, a Los Angeles fertility doctor with Reproductive Partners Medical Group, historically in a pool of 10 frozen eggs only one to three would survive the thawing process. With vitrification, he says, success rates of thawing and survival are more than 90 percent.
A woman is most fertile in her 20s and that declines with age. By the time a woman reaches her early 40s, she has less than a 30 percent chance of getting pregnant in one year. However, frozen eggs stop that biological clock – the eggs have the fertility potential of the age at which you froze them.
“Usually my recommendation is the younger you are the better, the higher quality your eggs,” Huang says. “If we can get 10 to 15 eggs in the freezer, that gives you a pretty good chance of a live birth later on when you're ready.”
Generally one egg freezing cycle produces 5 to 15 eggs. Like Huang, most fertility doctors agree that as many as 20 eggs are required for one successful pregnancy.
“Egg freezing is giving women every opportunity to conceive with assisted reproductive technologies as well as preserve their fertility, so that should they desire or need that at a later time they have every chance,” Huang adds.