The cryopreservation of unfertilized egg cells has been hugely improved in the last few years. Nevertheless, there are only a few reasons for freezing egg cells prior to fertilization.
Reasons for cryopreservation of egg cells
- This option is important for women who suffer from a severe illness.
Egg cells can be extracted prior to chemotherapy, for example. If the patient would like to have a child after such a treatment. These egg cells can be thawed and fertilized with the sperm of the partner. It is therefore important to inform a patient who is about to undergo cancer treatments of this possibility.
- Sometimes it is the case that a partner cannot give a sperm sample on the day of the egg cell extraction.
In this case, the extraction must be cancelled or the egg cells can be extracted and frozen. The fertilization can then take place at a later date.
- Storage of egg cells for later realization of pregnancy. (legally forbidden in Austria)
Since the age of women having children is rising, meaning increased age-related fertility problems, in the future, women may choose to have egg cells removed at a younger age and frozen for later use.