Egg freezing or “Oocyte cryopreservation” is a method used to preserve eggs to be used at a later
time. The eggs are protected and frozen in liquid nitrogen. They are placed in a state of suspended
animation so that they may be frozen for long periods of time then thawed and used when the
patient is ready to become pregnant. The preferred method of freezing is called “Vitrification”, which
is a special method of freezing that is done very quickly as opposed to the older method of slow
freezing. Vitrification, unlike slow cooling which has been used for freezing over the past 20 years,
avoids the damage to the cell invoked by ice crystal formation, as well as the “chilling” effects seen
with slow cooling. With vitrification, embryos are taken from room temperature to -196º C in a
fraction of a second using high concentrations of cryoprotectants.
The patient will undergo IVF with injected medications so that the maximum number of eggs are
retrieved. Aaradhya will store eggs for as long as the patient desires with an annual renewal of the
cryopreservation agreement. The types of patients who may want to access this technology include
young women who want to preserve their fertility due to career or lifestyle choices. The choice to
freeze their oocytes at a young age will give them the opportunity to conceive at a later time which
may be more appropriate for them. The second group of patients who are candidates for egg
freezing are those young women recently diagnosed with cancer. Since most cancer treatments
involve radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both, ovarian function is often compromised
causing infertility. If the patient is not Married, the option to freeze just her eggs as opposed
to freezing an embryo with Husband's sperm is an option. Once her treatment is completed and she is
Married, the frozen eggs can be used with her Husband's sperm.
The option of egg freezing should be discussed with the patient as soon as possible after the cancer
diagnosis, so there is time to proceed with the egg collection and freezing prior to any cancer
treatments. This many also be an option for those patients who have chronic illnesses whose
medication may have a detrimental effect on oocyte function.
Women can have their eggs frozen and stored at Aaradhya in attempt to preserve their fertility.
Fertility is scientifically proven to be age dependent and since it is the age of a woman’s eggs which
determines her fertility, the eggs of a 30 year old woman are much more likely to lead to successful
conception than those of a 40 year old. Freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age can help to
preserve your fertility and maximize your chances of a future pregnancy if you should experience
fertility problems in the future.
As the risks of miscarriage and certain abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome, increase with age,
women may chose to freeze their eggs to help reduce this risk by storing eggs for later fertility
treatment, should they require it. Today, the chances of freezing your eggs successfully are
dramatically improved because of the rapid advances which have taken place in the science of
Cryobiology and its related fields. Hundreds of babies have now been born worldwide using
previously frozen, thawed mature eggs.