Egg Freezing in Dubai Healthcare City
Women often delay childbearing due to personal circumstances. Because egg quality declines with age, women now have the option of egg freezing so the eggs can be fertilized and implanted at a later date. This form of assisted reproductive technology enables women to cryopreserve (freeze) eggs when they are at their healthiest.
The Natural Egg Reserve
On average, a woman has around 600,000 eggs, which are present at birth. This supply diminishes at a rate of 1,000 per month throughout the lifespan. This egg reserve decline is often referred to as a woman’s biological clock. The loss of eggs continues, regardless of pregnancy, absence of menses, or if the woman is taking oral contraceptives. The rate of egg loss accelerates when a woman is in her late 30s and early 40s. By midlife (43-47 years of age), a woman usually loses her natural ability to have children. What is more important, egg quality diminishes with time, and chromosome defects and miscarriages are more common with a later age of pregnancy.
Preparing for Egg Freezing
Women interested in freezing eggs will first undergo a series of fertility tests to assess reproductive potential and readiness for IVF. This involves:
- Initial evaluation of ovarian reserve – The consultation with the fertility specialist involves taking a medical history, conducting a physical examination, and assessing the rate of future success. Testing include assessing follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, estrogen levels, antral follicle count, and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels.
- Egg retrieval process – This process involves taking fertility medications to stimulate follicle growth so multiple eggs are produced. Ultrasound and blood levels are used to monitor progress, and eggs are retrieved during a simple office procedure.
- Egg preservation – The retrieved eggs are then processed through a rapid freezing process called vitrification. The frozen eggs are cryopreserved until they are needed. It is important for the client to maintain contact with the fertility clinic so the eggs will not be abandoned.
Creating Embryos using Frozen Eggs
The process of using frozen eggs involves:
- Thawing – When the client decides to have a child, the eggs can be thawed in the laboratory. Thawing occurs on the day the eggs are to be fertilized and should be synchronized with the woman’s cycle. Around 90% of the frozen eggs survive the freeze-to-thaw process.
- Fertilization – Thawed eggs are then fertilized in our laboratory using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single sperm is strategically placed into each egg. ICSI is required for fertilization because the protein coat around the egg becomes hardened through the freezing process. Around 70% of the injected eggs are expected to become fertilized.
- Embryo culture – After fertilization, the eggs remain in the laboratory for three to five days to develop into embryos. While not all develop into embryos, the number of eggs that survive and progress is related to the woman’s age at the time of egg freezing.
- Embryo transfer – The number of embryos transferred to the client’s uterus depends on her age at the time of egg freezing. Younger women have greater likelihood of implantation, so fewer embryos are transferred. The transfer is done using a tiny insertion catheter and ultrasound guidance.
PRC Dubai offers first rate fertility treatment in Dubai Healthcare City. After 25 years of success in the US, PRC is now offering state-of-the-art options in the Middle East! Here’s a video on Egg Freezing: