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Egg Freezing, Defined (And What To Contemplate Concerning the Course of)

by Editorial
Egg Freezing, Defined (And What To Contemplate Concerning the Course of)


If you’ve tuned into any wellness-focused web site, podcast, or social media platform not too long ago, you’ve in all probability seen that fertility has nabbed a distinguished spot within the convo. With regards to copy, persons are charting paths for themselves and rejecting the concept of a single path to parenthood (and we’re right here for it).

Working example: Over 8 million infants have been born on account of in vitro fertilization within the 40 years for the reason that expertise has been obtainable, and analysis means that a whole bunch of tens of millions of individuals will owe their lives to assisted fertility remedies by 2100.

In case you’re contemplating becoming a member of the ranks of potential mother and father who’ve undergone IVF, there are some things Cynthia Hudson, embryologist and vice chairman of scientific technique and specimen companies at TMRW Life Sciences, thinks everybody ought to know.

Her first level? Egg freezing is a chance to protect the choice of parenthood later in life. So you do not even should be optimistic you need to have children to undergo the method, however it additionally is not a choice to be taken flippantly, she says. That can assist you take advantage of knowledgeable decisions potential, Hudson shared just a few key issues she suggests asking your medical doctors—and your self.

Preserve scrolling to study what an embryologist needs you to contemplate earlier than egg freezing.

1. What are your plans and priorities?

Hudson acknowledges that egg freezing is trending proper now—however that is not essentially a motive to pursue it. She needs anybody contemplating it to do not forget that it’s an enormous choice that comes with emotional, bodily, and monetary investments.

Asking your self just a few questions—reminiscent of, when do you need to be pregnant? What number of children would you like? What number of egg-freezing cycles are you prepared to undergo? How lengthy will your eggs have to be frozen, and the way will they be saved till you want them?—might help make clear future plans and priorities, Hudson says.

“I’d like to get to a spot the place we will assure that freezing your eggs will consequence within the reproductive outcomes you’ve deliberate and hoped for, however we’re not there but,” Hudson says. That’s why she’s so enthusiastic about educating sufferers and, with TMRW’s assist, making the method extra clear, accessible, and protected—it doesn’t matter what chapter of your fertility journey you’re in.

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2. What’s the clinic’s success fee?

As soon as you’ve got determined you need to begin the egg-freezing course of, you’ll want a fertility clinic, and you may need to examine its success stats. Two questions are key, Hudson says: What’s the survival fee for eggs after freezing and thawing? And what’s the speed of viable being pregnant after the embryos have been transferred?

The survival fee is vital as a result of it speaks to the clinic’s capability to freeze, retailer, and deal with eggs. However, in Hudson’s eyes, the final word measure of the lab’s well being and success is the speed of being pregnant.

Professional tip: You’ll be able to peruse the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s web site—or give the group a name—to get a few of this data. The Fertility Success Act, handed in 1992, requires clinics to report on all sufferers and people sufferers’ subsequent reproductive outcomes, Hudson says. (In case your clinic hasn’t submitted data to the CDC, that could be indication to go for one other supplier.)

3. How will your eggs be saved and tracked?

After you’ve got performed some analysis on success charges, you will need to get some intel on egg storage. Give the clinic a name and ask for particulars on the method.

Traditionally, most labs have saved frozen eggs and embryos in tanks, often known as dewars, at ultra-cold temperatures. The method requires clinicians to manually fill the tanks with liquid nitrogen as a way to preserve that viable temp. Whereas the system labored nicely for some time, it is labor-intensive and susceptible to human error. And, the demand for fertility remedy has outgrown the method, as a result of IVF clinics weren’t set as much as be long-term storage banks.

So how does TMRW do it? By automating the monitoring and tracing of eggs, that are saved utilizing expertise that is geared up with sensors and touch-screen software program, which guarantee constant cryogenic temperatures. That implies that clinicians by no means should manually test the thermostat or fill the tanks with liquid nitrogen—the expertise confirms all of it for them, serving to to scale back errors, streamline the method, and stop disasters on account of unintentional thawing.

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4. Whereas they’re frozen, how will your eggs be monitored?

Many clinics have decades-old methods for monitoring eggs—i.e. relying closely on analog strategies like hand-written notecards and vial labels, which might introduce human error (yep, once more) right into a course of you very a lot do not need to mess up.

As an embryologist, Hudson spent years witnessing the issues these outdated strategies could cause, which is why she left the lab and joined TMRW to design expertise that gives transparency and security in laboratory operations.

TMRW automates the distinctive identification, monitoring, and tracing of eggs (by utilizing knowledge encryption, a 24/7 monitoring system, distinctive RFID tags and barcodes as an alternative of hand-written labels, and extra) as a way to cut back errors and improve effectivity. “We’re managing tens of hundreds of affected person specimens, whether or not they’re within the clinic or our new off-site cryobank,” she says. “There’s nothing extra vital to this firm than the security of these specimens.”

There’s even an app within the works that can give sufferers the choice to test in on their eggs—as an alternative of the extra commonplace course of of getting to name their clinic for particulars. “We expect the sufferers should have direct entry to that type of data,” Hudson says. “Offering groundbreaking ranges of visibility to the sufferers is one thing TMRW is one hundred pc dedicated to.”

“Modernizing and reworking IVF is the one method we will scale this business to satisfy the rising calls for and enhance entry to care,” she says. “This sort of care—for individuals in search of parenthood, or just simply attempting to protect the choice to take action—is out of attain for most individuals, both due to monetary, geographic, or different causes, and we’re right here to vary that.”


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