The preservation of eggs: an opportunity for women in the XXI century

Written by: Dr. Gorka Barrenetxea Ziarrusta
Published: | Updated: 11/01/2019
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos

in vitro fertilization

Assisted reproduction treatments are based, mostly, in a process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Thanks to IVF treatments and derivatives thereof (intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, among others) were born more than 7 million children in the world.


What is IVF treatment

IVF treatment is basically a process of controlled ovarian stimulation, a puncture of the ovaries for oocyte collection, fertilization and embryo culture in the laboratory and finally transferring an embryo into the uterus of the woman. The chances of success depend on many factors, the most important of which is the embryo quality.


Why IVF treatment applies

On many occasions embryo quality is low and therefore the chances of pregnancy scarce, mainly due to the age of women undergoing treatment. Social changes in recent years have made women decide (when) postpone motherhood. And sometimes, even assisted reproduction may offset the lesser fertile capacity that accompanies aging. In these cases it should resort to egg donation: the use of oocytes donated by young women.


What is the preservation of oocytes

Fortunately, today, it is possible that a young woman can preserve her eggs. Thus, if in the future, when you decide to become pregnant, had difficulties in achieving pregnancy by natural reproduction, it could use oocytes that preserved years ago. That is, it would be his own donor oocytes.

Basically, the process involves treatment of ovarian stimulation of between 10 and 12 days, and a puncture of the ovaries by the expert in Assisted Reproduction , for extracting oocytes. The puncture can be performed under local anesthesia or sedation and the patient is discharged in an hour or two. It is, in short, to perform the first two steps of IVF.

Oocyte preservation is not synonymous with fertility preservation or replace natural reproduction. You have to counsel couples and women who, in case of gestational desire, it is best to try to get pregnant by natural reproduction as soon as possible. In the event that a pregnancy was not reached by natural means, preservation of oocytes is a resource that can help these women. It is an alternative that was not available for years, because classical oocyte freezing presented many technical difficulties and poor results. With vitrification they have been overcome such problems. Once vitrified oocytes can be kept for years and the effectiveness (in terms of chances of pregnancy) depend on the age of the woman at the time of preservation: the higher the effectiveness is the younger women.


Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Gorka Barrenetxea Ziarrusta
Fertility Specialty

Dr. Barrenetxea is a renowned specialist in Assisted Reproduction. He is an expert in in vitro fertilization, preimplantation diagnosis and in the preservation of fertility. He is also Full Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics of the University of the Basque Country and Professor of the Master of Assisted Reproduction taught by the Complutense University of Madrid together with the Spanish Fertility Society.

Throughout his professional career he has directed several doctoral theses and received numerous awards, including the Research Award of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Madrid.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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