For women egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, can be a viable strategy to keep their options for motherhood open.
What is Egg freezing?
Egg freezing is a method of preserving a woman’s fertility so she can try to have children at a later date. It is a process scientifically known as oocyte cryopreservation. The eggs will be collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen at the temperature of -196 Degrees Celsius in the standardized laboratory.
Who is it for?
Egg freezing can be particularly beneficial for women who are currently trying to conceive. A woman’s egg quality and quantity begin to decline in her mid-30s. So, for those finding it challenging to conceive naturally, egg freezing offers a viable alternative. It ensures a potential “backup” plan, preserving younger, healthier eggs for possible future use.
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing begins with hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. In this process, you’ll undergo ovarian stimulation, where you’ll receive hormonal injections for approximately 8 to 14 days to boost egg production. During this phase, regular blood tests and ultrasounds are conducted to monitor the development of the eggs.
Next is the egg retrieval stage. This is a minor surgical procedure where a doctor will collect the eggs from the ovaries using guided ultrasound. After retrieval, the eggs are then immediately flash-frozen and stored for future use.
For women actively trying to conceive, tracking their menstrual cycle is a key part of the process. Understanding one’s fertility window, the period when pregnancy is most likely to occur can optimize the chances of conception.
Who might consider egg freezing?
Egg freezing is an empowering technology that gives women more control over their fertility. Several categories of individuals may benefit from egg freezing:
- Women who need to undergo chemotherapy or other treatments that can affect fertility.
- Those with a family history of early menopause, who might have a shorter window of fertility.
- Women who prefer to delay childbearing for personal reasons.
What to consider?
Egg freezing does come with its share of uncertainties. There are considerable costs involved, both financial and emotional. The procedure is expensive, often not covered by insurance, and hormonal treatment can lead to emotional stress. It’s therefore crucial for women considering this path to engage in open and informed conversations with their healthcare providers, weighing the potential benefits against the risks.
While the procedure itself has become increasingly common, it’s crucial to note that it doesn’t guarantee a successful pregnancy in the future, but rather preserves the possibility.
Egg Freezing in Thailand
Egg freezing has gained significant popularity in Thailand — among locals and foreigners alike. The country’s reputable medical facilities and experienced professionals made Thailand a leading destination for this and other fertility procedures. The price for Egg Freezing can range from 2,000-5,000 USD depending on the quality and reputation of the performing clinic.
Dr. Sirichet Anekpornwattana (Fertility doctor) (1 June 2023)