Houston IVF Fertility Preservation
While it may not be the right time to have a baby, it may be the right time to consider
As a woman gets older, she may find that getting pregnant is more difficult.
Women are born with about 1-2 million eggs. Like other cells in the body, most of the eggs die off naturally.
Only about a half million eggs are left by the time a girl reaches puberty.
Her egg number declines more rapidly from the mid-30s to her 40s. The quality of the remaining eggs also declines making it more difficult to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
New Infertility Treatment Explored – ABC13 / Houston IVF
While professional, social, personal or health reasons may delay childbearing, biology makes it easier for a woman under 30 to get pregnant. Egg freezing can preserve a woman’s younger eggs even while she is aging.
How do I freeze my eggs?
To preserve eggs, a woman follows the same initial procedures she would if she were having in vitro fertilization (IVF).
The process begins with an initial consultation with an Infertility Specialist. Houston IVF physicians are Board Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Our physician would examine the patient’s medical background and evaluate any prior medical records or tests. Then the physician would recommend a treatment plan based on the woman’s individual needs and the urgency of her situation. Patients who are preserving their eggs prior to cancer treatment may require a more aggressive treatment plan.
Typically, a woman who is preserving her eggs will undergo daily injections to cause a group of her eggs to mature and develop (approximately 9-12 days). Blood tests and ultrasounds will track her response to the medicines. When her doctor determines the eggs are sufficiently matured, the eggs will be removed in a brief office procedure under light anesthesia. A Houston IVF embryologist then examines the eggs. Usable eggs are frozen and stored for as long as the woman wishes.
How old is too old to freeze my eggs?
The effects of age on fertility is different for every woman. Some women may not experience infertility even into their early 40s. Elective egg freezing is generally more successful for woman under 38.
Couples who wish to delay building a family have the option to freeze their embryos or the woman’s eggs. The same process to retrieve eggs is performed but the eggs are fertilized with the husband’s sperm creating embryos. Developing embryos are then frozen and stored until the couple is ready to become parents. The embryos can also be tested by a process known as Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) that examines all 23 pairs of chromosomes for abnormalities. It can identify chromosomal defects (genetic defects) to allow normal embryos to be used in the future.
If a couple is undergoing IVF and are fortunate enough to collect a large number of embryos from one egg collection, the remaining viable embryos that are not transferred into the woman’s uterus during the month of treatment may be frozen and stored for future use. This allows the patient to limit the number of embryos transferred “fresh” without sacrificing the chance that the unused embryos could lead to a pregnancy. The embryos may be kept in storage for many years. By transferring frozen-thawed embryos into the uterus, some patients have achieved 2-3 pregnancies in different years from just one egg collection.
Guaranteed to have a baby later?
Not necessarily. The chance that one frozen egg will yield a baby in the future is around 2-12% in women younger than 38. As a woman gets older and egg quality diminishes, the pregnancy rate per frozen egg drops further. Most women produce multiple eggs per cycle.
How do I know how fertile I really am?
Houston IVF offers a Fertility Assessment to women so they can have a better idea about their current fertility. This includes an initial visit with an Infertility Specialist, a baseline ultrasound, laboratory tests and a follow up appointment with the doctor to discuss the results.
First In Texas
Houston IVF has the distinction of being the first practice in Texas to successfully freeze eggs, thaw, fertilize and transfer the resulting embryos which resulted in live births. In May 2010, the Houston IVF couple had twin boys, the first babies born from frozen human eggs in Texas.