Social freezing is the preventive freezing of your own eggs for later use.
Nowadays, women want to study, spend a certain time gaining experience and build a professional position. At the same time, they are looking for a partner with whom they can start a family. It can easily happen that they suddenly realize they are 36 years old, and at this age the quality of the eggs and thus the ability to conceive begins to decline rapidly.
For whom is social freezing suitable?
Social Freezing is not a method for women who merely do not respect their reproductive age and want to “make a career”. There are a number of reasons for postponing motherhood. Women use social freezing, for example, before major gynecological surgery, where there is a risk of damage to the ovaries, or women whose ovaries need to be removed for medical reasons.
Women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 30. After the age of 35, the quality of the eggs and thus the ability to conceive drops significantly. In order for a woman to be able to have her own child at a later age, we recommend freezing the eggs, ideally until the age of 30. Oocytes can of course also be frozen at a much older age, but the poorer quality must then be accepted. A woman can, of course, try to get pregnant naturally at any time and then never have to make use of the frozen eggs.
Social Freezing Procedure
The preparation for social freezing is similar to the preparation for extracorporal (artificial) insemination (IVF). After comprehensive examinations (gynecological and hormonal), the woman is recommended appropriate hormonal stimulation. Thanks to the stimulation, a larger number of eggs matures during one cycle. After about a week of hormonal stimulation, after an ultrasound examination, the date of egg retrieval is set. Oocyte retrieval is usually performed under short general anesthesia. The collected follicular fluid with the oocytes is transferred to the laboratory immediately after retrieval. An embryologist examines the fluid and isolates all the oocytes from it, which he then evaluates (according to the maturity and size of the oocytes, discoloration of the cytoplasm, etc.). Oocytes unsuitable for freezing are sorted out, all other oocytes are frozen by the so-called vitrification method – the most modern and gentle method of very fast freezing.
The process of does not affect the quality of the oocytes as such. The problem is that unlike sperm or embryos, oocytes are very sensitive to the process of vitrification and subsequent thawing. Therefore, after thawing, some eggs may not survive this procedure and cannot be fertilized.
Our fertility experts
The article was prepared and provided by our partner clinic “Pronatal “in Ceské Budejovice, Prague, Karlovy Vary and Teplice.
Dr. Nicole Mardešićová, MHA, is a graduate of the 1st Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in Prague. She is a specialist in gynecology and obstetrics and holds a postgraduate certification in reproductive medicine. Furthermore, she has a master’s degree in medical administration. She has been working as a physician at the Maternal and Child Care Institute since 2008. Since 2016, she has been a member of the medical team at PRONATAL Sanatorium. Currently, she is the head physician of the Pronatal medical group. She is a member of the professional societies CGPS, SAR, ESHRE, participates passively and actively in European congresses.
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