Egg Freezing and Storage for Fertility Preservation
Egg banking, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, provides the opportunity to conserve patient’s eggs (oocytes) at very low temperatures for future attempts at conception using IVF. Unlike sperm banking, egg freezing has a short history and has been increasingly used since around 2000. On October 22nd, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced that egg banking, through a breakthrough technology called vitrification, is no longer considered investigational. RMSCVA is proud to offer this exciting technology to freeze eggs for future use.
Egg freezing requires that a patient undergo ovarian stimulation and a minor surgical procedure to acquire eggs. The eggs are chilled by ultra-rapid freezing called vitrification. Upon thawing, in vitro fertilization procedures are needed to inseminate the eggs with a sperm and to grow embryos. Either sperm from her partner or from a sperm donor may be used to fertilize the eggs through a technique call ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Selected embryos may then be transferred into the patient’s uterus.
Egg banking is appropriate for women who wish to defer family building into later years when ovarian function may decline, for couples who wish to limit the number of embryos created by assisted reproduction, or for women facing treatment such as cancer therapy that may diminish ovarian function or lead to menopause.