Breaking news: Egg Freezing has come of age in Vermont!
Take a peek at these adorable NRM babies: to our knowledge this is the first pregnancy from eggs frozen in Vermont!
Fertility clinics have for decades been able to freeze and thaw embryos (an egg fertilized with sperm). Embryos are made up of many cells, and are more robust thus allowing them to survive the freezing and thawing process. Eggs, however, are one single cell full of a large content of water. Eggs are difficult to freeze without destroying the integrity of their DNA, but a new technology called vitrification (a flash-freeze avoiding ice crystal development) has allowed egg freezing to become an option for patients who wish to preserve their fertility when sperm aren’t available.
We have been freezing eggs for over 2 years at NRM (and have worked with the process of freezing and thawing extensively in the lab), but recently we had our first NRM patient return to thaw and utilize her oocytes- and it was successful! The patient originally had 12 eggs retrieved through the IVF process and subsequently frozen. The eggs were later thawed, and 11 out of 12 eggs survived the process, and 4 good quality blastocysts (embryos created with the thawed eggs and her partner’s sperm) developed in the IVF laboratory. After transferring 2 embryos (and freezing the remaining two for future use), they conceived a twin pregnancy. The couple gave us permission to share this lovely photo of their twins conceived through this highly advanced technology. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Want to learn more about egg freezing?
Modern techniques for fertility preservation can provide peace of mind and help couples and individuals keep their options open for future fertility. Learn more!
Who should consider egg freezing?
Egg freezing may be considered in several different situations:
- Individuals diagnosed with cancer in their reproductive years should consider fertility preservation prior to starting treatment.
Chemotherapeutic agents can be toxic to reproductive organs, specifically ovaries and testicles where the reproductive cells are produced and stored. Preserving gametes prior to treatment can give patients peace of mind that they can still start or expand their family in the future.
- Women who choose to delay becoming pregnant for social reasons—career choices, continuing education, lack of partner, or other personal reasons—and who want to give themselves access to “younger” eggs allowing for higher chances at pregnancy down the road.
- Individuals with autoimmune disorders who must be on medications that may destroy reproductive function.
- Women who have been advised to have their ovaries removed (for example, due to severe endometriosis.)
- Transgender individuals who wish to preserve genetic material prior to transition.
How are the eggs frozen?
Our NRM physicians and embryologists utilize vitrification, a flash-freeze technique used to prevent ice crystal formation and damage to vulnerable eggs and embryos. With modern techniques and state-of-the art technology, our team at NRM strives to offer you the best chances for future reproductive success.
Interested in this process? Take the next step.
Schedule a consultation where we can meet with you and develop a personalized fertility preservation plan designed to allow you the time you need to start a family of your own.