Cryopreservation of oocytes - false hope or panacea?

At one of the medical resources I saw an article on the advisability of oocytes freezing. The authors summed up the results of the 10-year use of this technology in the UK. It turned out that since 2002  only 12 children have been born in the country, using frozen eggs. What is there to say? The introduction of this technology has been quite difficult. The thing is that eggs contain a large amount of water. Have you ever forgotten a bottle with liquid in the freezer? Almost the same happens during an ordinary egg cryopreservation. To avoid this, the technology of vitrification is used – a superfast cooling method, under which water immediately goes into the jelly-like state.


Until recently, the likelihood of a successful "return to life" of frozen eggs was several times lower than of frozen semen or embryos - they simply contain no water, so the technology is much easier, and the probability of successful defrost is much higher. And the whole point is in the cryoprotectants, or environment, in which the egg is placed for safekeeping during the freezing. Normal cryoprotectants (by the way, their structure is much more complicated than one of the cryoprotectants for embryos and semen, that is a mixture of propylene glycol and cane sugar) for oocytes appeared not long ago. Therefore, the introduction of this technology "in the mass use", in spite of its "proclamation" in 2002, began only when the new environment began to provide an acceptable level of the "survival" of eggs.

However, I think that this technology is the thing of the future.  Of course, I still would advise women not to cryopreserve oocytes, but to undergo the IVF procedure, to obtain embryos and to freeze them. But imagine such a situation - a woman is to face a serious medical or other treatment, which calls into question her ability to produce normal eggs in the future, and currently she has no steady partner, with whom she would like to have common children. Use the sperm of a donor? It is also an option, but it's better to use a technology, that will allow to have their own children in the future.

And yet - this is an alternative for those women who are deeply committed to the Christian doctrine: the church has a negative attitude to all operations with the embryos, but allows freezing of sperm and eggs, because they have not formed a new life yet. This may seem strange, but at least it is good that there is a technology, that gives these religious women a chance to have their own children.

And the last on vitrification. The probability of the success of the procedure largely depends on the doctor’s experience and the quality of the medium. I say this so confidently, because the doctors of our IVF center were pioneers of this technique in Russia. So, dear ladies, if you decide to freeze oocytes – please, choose the clinic carefully, because, in fact, you trust your future to it.