Nowadays there are several alternatives for women to plan and achieve a successful pregnancy through assisted reproductive techniques. Among these alternatives, if your idea is not to get pregnant imminently, is to freeze eggs, also known as vitrification.
This process, performed in assisted reproduction centers, has been gaining momentum among women, since it allows the conservation of their own eggs to be used in the future.
What does egg freezing consist of?
The eggs are subjected to a vitrification process, after which they are preserved at temperatures of -196 ºC in liquid nitrogen. In this way, the oocytes remain metabolically and biologically inactive. Thanks to this technique, they can be preserved for years.
The application of this method may have several reasons, including cultural, personal or medical aspects. It is not only an option to delay childbearing for work or personal reasons, it is also an option widely used by women suffering from diseases that require aggressive treatments, since medications or surgical processes can affect their ovarian reserve, and therefore their future fertility.
By opting to freeze their eggs before starting treatment, they have the possibility, as mentioned above, of having offspring with their own eggs in the future .
What is the process of egg freezing?
To carry out the vitrification process of the eggs, it is necessary to go through several stages or phases, which are described below:
In this first stage, an estimate of the number of eggs that can be obtained is obtained. This is an extremely important initial phase, due to the information that can be collected. This information is obtained in consultation thanks to a vaginal ultrasound where the antral follicles are counted and a blood test, where we will know the value of the antimullerian hormone (AMH).
Treatment and medications
In this phase the medical specialist determines what type of treatment and medication will be indicated to the patient. Normally the woman is evaluated during the first days of her menstrual cycle, with the idea of performing an ultrasound to visualize how many possible eggs or follicles are in the ovaries.
Based on this information, the corresponding treatment will be applied for a duration of eight to twelve days. Usually, the route of administration that requires this treatment is subcutaneous (injected); with the objective of stimulating the ovary and achieving the highest number of oocytes.
The desired quantity is a minimum of ten to fifteen eggs, in order to achieve a higher probability of success after thawing.
Once the desired follicular growth is reached, under ultrasound monitoring, egg retrieval is scheduled, which is performed in the operating room (follicular puncture). The procedure is performed vaginally and involves using a needle to aspirate the contents of the follicles that contain the eggs (follicular fluid).
During the procedure, the patient is sedated with general anesthesia to avoid any discomfort or discomfort during the extraction, so that the patient remains immobile during the procedure.
Freezing or vitrification
Once the follicular fluid is extracted, it is sent to the embryologist in the laboratory, who uses a microscope to look for all the eggs and classify them.
Eggs that are classified as mature are the ones that are selected to be frozen, since they are ready to be fertilized.
Considering all the steps involved in vitrification, the cost of freezing eggs can be high for many.
When the woman wants to use the vitrified oocytes, she must undergo hormonal treatment to prepare the uterus for the embryo transfer. It is important to keep in mind that the number of oocytes vitrified on the day of the ovarian puncture may not be the same when the reproductive technique is performed for their fertilization.
It is not possible to have a total guarantee of 100% survival of vitrified oocytes, although their survival is above 94%, it will depend on the age and quality at the time of vitrification. On the other hand, another factor to take into account is the quality of the sperm at the time of fertilization of the devitrified oocytes. Both the egg and the sperm will influence the quality of the resulting embryos.
How much does it cost to freeze eggs?
The question ofhow much does it cost to freeze eggs in Spain is a common one. However, the price of this service or treatment varies depending on factors such as preservation time.
In some cases, specialized egg freezing clinics also offer the opportunity for a second attempt at freezing, which increases the price of freezing eggs.
On the other hand, the diagnosis and assessment of the woman prior to the process can also affect the price of the treatment. But in general terms the price of egg vitrification in Spain averages between 1,900 euros and 4,500 euros.
Therefore, to know precisely how much it costs to freeze eggs, you should go to a specialist center and request a quote, taking into account your needs and medical history.
Although the price of treatment for egg freezing may be a bit high, you must take into account everything that this treatment involves, in terms of specialists, equipment and medical resources.
Visit your doctor and ask him how much it costs to freeze your eggs.
As for the price of IVI egg freezing, it starts at 2,600 euros, including the previous studies and all the phases of the vitrification process.
Is freezing eggs in Social Security an option?
Yes, egg freezing treatment can be performed by the Social Security, but only in certain cases. Specifically for women who must undergo treatments that may affect their fertility levels.
This is the only way for Social Security to perform the procedure. In this way, the patient does not have to pay the cost of freezing her eggs.
How are frozen eggs used?
During the Spanish egg vitrification process, metaphase II (mature) eggs are frozen in order to preserve them for future use.
Once it is time to use the eggs, they are thawed and fertilized in the laboratory to obtain embryos that will be transferred into the woman’s uterus. It is in this way that a new life can be procreated by means of this assisted reproduction technique.
In the Spanish territory there are centers specialized in freezing eggs in Madrid, and in several cities. Likewise, you can freeze eggs in Barcelona with professionals in the area, who achieve a high success rate.
Before deciding on one medical center or another, we recommend you to evaluate the price of egg freezing in each center, and evaluate which one is more convenient for you.