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    fertility treatments

    Cryopreservation techniques - Embryo Freezing and Egg Freezing procedures

    • 4.8   (6 Votes)

    Embryo freezing benefits are in IVF failures and if a couple plans to have baby in the later years of life. Egg freezing benefits are reduction in number of attempts of IVF procedure, reduces overall stress, and helpful for cancer patients. Embryo freezing and egg freezing procedures are expensive ones.

    Let’s Discuss in More Details About Embryo Freezing and Egg Freezing:

    It is a known fact that the fertility of males and females diminish with increasing age. For this very reason, the doctors recommend the couples preservation of embryos or eggs for the successful occurrence of pregnancy whenever required in the later years. There are two methods of preservation that are currently in practice and these are embryo freezing and egg freezing. If a couple is not able to get conceive naturally in the coming years, then they can effectively utilize their frozen eggs or frozen embryos. In recent times, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments are widely being utilized for the successful accomplishment of a pregnancy. Gynecologists refer to the respective fertility treatments depending upon the requirements of a particular case. The main difference between egg freezing and embryo freezing is that during egg freezing we are freezing unfertilized eggs but during embryo freezing, we are freezing the fertilized egg or embryo.

    What is embryo freezing?

    Embryo freezing is a medical procedure in which an embryo (egg fertilized with sperms) is preserved in the liquid nitrogen in a laboratory. The temperature that is utilized for the preservation of the embryo is -196 degrees Celsius. This ensures that the embryos remain in a suspended animation state for the next few years. In most of the countries, the embryo freezing is allowed for the time period of at least 5 years. But in some of the cases, the embryo preservation is done for even 10 years. It is seen in several cases that embryo freezing is successful, irrespective of the time duration of the preservation of embryo. (1) (2)

    • Embryo freezing ensures that the embryos can be preserved in a healthy and viable manner for a long time.
    • Only high-quality embryos are preserved for the best results.
    • The embryos are frozen and stored in the safest way at the fertility centres and storage banks.

    Benefits of Embryo Freezing

    • Frozen embryos can be utilized after the failed cycle of IVF. The woman does not need to undergo the processes of ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval again and she can have frozen embryo transfer directly. (3) (4)
    • Frozen embryo transfer can also be performed in the cases when the couple wants to have their second baby after having the first one with the IVF.
    • Couples can also get their embryo frozen if they are planning to have a baby in the later years of life. This ensures that they do not need sperm donors or egg donors in the future. In such cases, pregnancy can occur in a simple manner in the later years without the requirement of extensive fertility treatments.

    Disadvantages of Embryo Freezing

    • Embryo freezing involves medication that can have side effects over time. Therefore, proper care is taken while administering the drugs to combat the side effects of each. (5)
    • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can occur in patients undergoing embryo freezing.

    The procedure of Embryo Freezing

    The procedure of embryo freezing consists of certain steps, which need to be followed with care to ensure a safe and effective embryo freezing procedure.

    • The gynecologist will ask you to ensure that you take certain precautions for at least a week before the procedure of egg retrieval starts. You need to follow them so that quality embryos can be prepared from the eggs retrieved during the procedure. (6)
    • The eggs from the female patient are fertilized along with the sperm of the partner. This leads to the formation of embryos.
    • The embryos are left to mature for 3-4 days before they are kept for freezing.
    • One of the best features of embryo freezing procedure is that the success rates of embryo thawing are quite appreciable at 80-90%. So, you can see that the preservation of embryos is much useful for couples who want to plan babies in the later years of their life.

    Embryo freezing provides the best possible results to the couples who want to be on the safer side regarding starting or expanding their family. Single embryo transfers are much popular and the success rates of IVF are also high in frozen embryo transfer.

    procedure of embryo freezing

    What is egg freezing?

    Egg freezing is a procedure in the field of gynecology in which the eggs of a woman are preserved under controlled conditions to be used later during fertility treatments. Egg freezing is also known as oocytes preservation in the medical terms. It is said that till the end of 2018, up to 76,000 women will freeze their eggs. So, it’s evident that the demand of egg freezing procedure is growing to an appreciable extent. Slow cooling and vitrification are two types of egg freezing, which are utilized depending on the case and the health of female patients. This helps the women to have babies even after they are about to cross or have crossed the reproductive age in their life. Both married and unmarried can go for egg freezing. (7) (8)

    Benefits of Egg Freezing

    • Genetically relatable babies are born with the help of egg freezing procedures. (9)
    • Helps in reducing the number of IVF attempts because higher quality eggs were already retrieved at a younger age.
    • If some is planning to have a baby later in life, then they can go with egg freezing as an option to preserve their eggs. In simpler terms, women can choose the time of conceiving.
    • Cuts off stress associated with planning a baby.
    • If someone is having cancer or other fatal diseases, then they can get their eggs preserved before starting the treatment.

    Disadvantages of Egg Freezing

    • Egg freezing is a commercially expensive procedure. Therefore, most of the couples think a lot before opting for the procedure of egg freezing.
    • There is also a high risk of having side effects of medication that are consumed during the entire procedure of egg freezing.
    • One of the common fears of the couples who undergo egg freezing procedure is that it may not result in a guaranteed pregnancy.

    The procedure of Egg Freezing

    The procedure of egg freezing consists of a series of steps, which are performed under the guidance of a gynecologist. Here are steps, which are utilized in the procedure of egg freezing. (10)

    • Birth control measures are started on the advice of the gynecologist.
    • Hormonal injections are given to the patient. This stimulates the ovaries of the patients thus leading to the generation of the multiple eggs.
    • Then, the patient is given general anesthesia to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. The eggs formed in the 2 weeks time period are retrieved from the female patient. In this step, a needle is inserted through the vagina along with a device, which collects and brings the required eggs out from the patient.
    • Years later, when the patient is ready to conceive, the frozen eggs are thawed. Then they are fertilized with sperms before being injected into the uterus of the female patient.

    procedure of egg freezing

    In this way, the procedure of egg freezing is accomplished and the frozen eggs are later used depending on the necessity of the couples.

    Advantages of embryo freezing over egg freezing

    It has been observed that the survival rate of frozen embryos is higher when compared to the frozen eggs. There used to be a big gap in the survival rates of frozen eggs and frozen embryos. But with the introduction of vitrification technology, the gap between survival rates has reduced to a greater extent. The survival rate for frozen eggs is now 90% and for frozen embryos, it is 95%. Even if the survival rate of a frozen embryo is higher but still it is not always the choice that you have. When you are unmarried or you don’t have sperms, then you can have egg freezing only. Hence, both of these freezing procedures are utilized depending upon the requirement and possibility in a particular case.

    Thus, these are some of the crucial aspects of embryo and egg freezing which need to be focused when discussing preservation techniques for future purposes. You can talk to your gynecologist and ensure that you choose the right type of preservation procedure for your goals.

    To know the cost of egg procedure, explore our research-based article on egg freezing cost. You can also use Ela’s algorithmic pricing engine namely FTC (Fair Treatment Cost) calculator to know the prices of various fertility treatments in India.

    Recommended Reads

    All You Need To Know About Embryo Freezing





    Ujjwal Kumar

    Please suggest me with some best hospital for embryo freezing in Bangalore. It will be so helpful for me.

    Oct. 13, 2018, 8:19 p.m. 4.5


    Ujjwal Kumar

    My wife and I are planning to have embryo freezing after reading this article. It seems like the healthy family planning method.

    Oct. 6, 2018, 4:37 p.m. 5.0


    Ganesh Rana

    What chances are there for the embryos to develop into a fetus while conceiving after the embryo freezing process? Does the child come out normal or with any complications?

    Oct. 3, 2018, 1:46 p.m. 5.0


    Neelam Joshi

    I have a low egg count. Can I opt embryo freezing for me? Or should I take HCG shots before?

    Sept. 20, 2018, 2:29 p.m. 4.5


    Jeennat Rehman

    It is highly successful method. You can even avoid unwanted pregnancy through this and use it whenever you want in future.

    Aug. 9, 2018, 12:26 p.m. 5.0


    Purnendu Lanka

    Aug. 1, 2018, 5 p.m. 4.5

    View all comments

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