Are You Married? Single?
Egg freezing — with the help of egg or embryo freezing — is relevant for many women interested in delaying family building. Are you one of them?
If you're married and wish to delay pregnancy, preserving fertility with embryo freezing (vitrification) may be preferable over egg freezing. Here's why:
- Embryos are at a more advanced stage than eggs. Fertilization and early cell division (cleavage) is one way to separate high-quality eggs from poor-quality eggs.
- With embryos, an even more sensitive technique for selecting healthy embryos, Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS), identifies embryos with the right number of chromosomes. This is best done on advanced embryos, which are day 5-7 blastocysts.
- Advanced cell division plus CCS identifies embryos with very high rates of implantation. With a healthy uterus, single embryos screened with CCS produce pregnancy rates of 50 to 70 percent.
If you're single, on the other hand, it likely makes more sense to freeze your eggs. That way, you can delay the decision about whose sperm to use. Data on egg freezing pregnancy success rates is limited, but so far evidence suggests that egg vitrification and embryo vitrification outcomes are similar.
If you will be undergoing medical or surgical treatments that might impact future fertility, you may elect to freeze your eggs. This can provide an option for future fertility.