Oocyte cryopreservation is simply a fancy medical term for egg freezing. An oocyte is a female egg. Egg freezing enables women who, because of life circumstances or health complications, cannot deal with pregnancy during their most fertile years or simply wish to postpone maternity until the time is right for them to start a family. Studies have shown that most infertility problems are caused by age-related cell deterioration. Surprisingly, the uterus remains completely functional in most elderly women. This implies that it’s the woman's eggs that need to be preserved.
We can extract, freeze and store oocytes. The procedure gives women the option of having their eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos to facilitate a pregnancy sometime in the future. This procedure's success rate varies depending on the age of the woman and ranges from 14.8 percent if the eggs were extracted when the woman was 40 to 31.5 percent if the eggs were extracted when the woman was 25.
Fertility preservation is a term that generally applies to helping cancer patients retain their fertility despite chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which can affect a woman’s reproductive health. These regimens attack healthy, rapidly dividing cells like sperm and eggs. They can have varying effects on reproductive health. The decrease or loss of reproductive function is temporary in many cancer patients, but many others do not regain their fertility after cancer treatment. Methods of fertility preservation include semen, ovarian tissue and egg freezing. The concept here is to give cancer patients the option to have children sometime after their cancer treatment has been completed.