How Do You Preserve Your Fertility?

How Do You Preserve Your Fertility?

Imagine you are an almost 35-year-old woman or approaching your 40s and you don't have a partner recently or you have a partner but you want to achieve some career goals and every day you meet a woman who suffers from infertility or trying to get pregnant. Or you meet some of your friends for some occasions, they are married and they have one or two kids. 
When you think about you and your future fertility you may terrified or concerned.
I can say, you don’t need to be scared! As your fertility doctor, I can say you have a significantly powerful tool: egg cryopreservation.  

1. What is egg reserve?
2. Why is egg reserve important?
3. How does age affect my fertility?
4. How does egg cryopreservation work?
5. Why should I freeze my eggs?
6 How many years can I keep them?
7. How can I freeze my eggs?

First, we must understand what egg reserve is. Unlike men, we have a limited number of eggs to use all in our reproductive life. This number is determined during our intrauterine journey in our mother’s womb. In the beginning, we have millions of immature follicles in our ovaries. Isn’t it nice to have millions of eggs in our egg vault? But, even before we are born, we lose most of them. This loss continues until puberty. When we reach puberty we have only a bunch of immature eggs and follicles in our egg vault. This means we will use this limited number of eggs until menopausal age.

You may think you use one follicle each month so it can be enough to have a baby whenever you want. You can wait until you feel ready. Unfortunately, your biological clock doesn’t work like this. Do you know that we lose tens of eggs for preparing one egg each cycle? This means you lose tens of follicles each month. Only one of them wins the marathon others go in vain. And you have a limited number of eggs in your egg vault. The scary movie begins here. The second important thing is egg aging.
What is egg aging? During the intrauterine journey, after birth, and the whole lifetime, many factors affect our body cells, tissues, and organs. Lifestyle features, eating habits, genetic traits, environmental pollution, diseases, and infections that we passed before contribute to some chromosomal fractures in our germ cells both men and women. When we age, our DNA repair mechanism gets slower and we encounter more frequent chromosomally abnormal egg cells. When we collect egg cells in the IVF treatment we see some of them not usable or we see fertilization failure and the development of bad-quality embryos.

Ok, as we understand up to here, we have a question. If we are getting age and we don’t plan to have a kid at the moment, what is the solution? The solution is Egg cryopreservation. You can see and consult with a fertility doctor. After your thorough examination and evaluation, you can enter egg freezing treatment. The egg cryopreservation is like insurance for your future fertility. You may think it is the same as your health insurance. You never want to be sick and use your insurance. But if you have a problem your health insurance covers your treatment. Before ovarian reserve and health decline, if you freeze your eggs, you can use these healthy and young eggs for IVF treatment many years later. Your pregnancy chance can increase. You may think you have stopped your biological clock. For instance, if you freeze your egg on your 33, your eggs will stay 33 years old until you use them. Isn’t it amazing?
Freezing your eggs at a younger age can provide you with relaxation in planning your career. You don’t need to rush to get pregnant. You can focus on your career without fear of missing your fertility train.
Egg freezing is a powerful tool for a specific group of patients who must undergo cancer treatments. We can cure many cancers nowadays. But these cancer treatments harm most of our germ cells, and we may lose our eggs during treatment irreversibly. Before starting the cancer treatment we can apply quick egg collection and egg freezing protocols. So after your sickness cures completely you can get pregnant using your freezing eggs. We have many lovely stories like this.
How many years can we keep these eggs in the embryology lab?
We keep your eggs under -190 C. Without melting them we can keep them technically for many years. But every country determines its storage duration by law. Many countries accept the duration as 5 years. 
Last 10 years we got a lot of experience with egg freezing. Now, the Survival rate for frozen eggs is almost 95-99%. This means when we melt them almost all of them can be used for ICSI and embryo creation. Genetic screening studies showed us euploid embryo ratios are also good. Of course, the genetic material doesn't originate only from eggs. The DNA structure of sperm is as important as egg DNA.
If you are concerned about your future fertility please apply to an infertility center, consult with a fertility physician, and do your blood work and ultrasound examination. Before you lose your eggs you can freeze your eggs and this is a safe and convenient method for you.
Please always remember knowledge is the most powerful tool for you. You can create your future with the correct knowledge. I am here, your friendly fertility doctor to support and inform you about women’s health and fertility.