March 28, 2015

The Oocyte is Type A; The Uterus is Not

Egg Freezing for Young Women

Millennial women, you have the opportunity to write the narrative on your fertility.

Demographics have certainly changed.  Degrees in hand, working environment firmly established, nest egg cultivated, is it now the time to think about legacy? Will your legacy be the work that you have accomplished? Will this legacy involve family?  There is a linear progression: degree, job, security. Unfortunately, Darwin has not caught up with lifestyle and child-bearing is delayed.

Women are born with all of the eggs (ooctyes) ever they will have.  There is a slower loss of this pool from birth until the first period (approximately 2 million eggs to 0.5 million). Every month approximately 300 candidate, immature eggs are called to task, but over a well orchestrated and hormonally-controlled growth process, only one rising star will make the grade.  This egg becomes the one that will be readied form potential fertilization, whether sperm is present or absent.

This chronic process occurs monthly, whether a woman ovulates or not.  This degradation can not be impaired, halted or slowed.

The ability to control the fertility narrative is to preserve candidate oocytes (eggs) by cryopreserving them.  These cryopreserved oocytes remain in suspended animation and will regain their natural function when gently thawed in the fertility center setting.  They have the potential to outlive us all, lasting years and lasting longer than one’s own fertility potential.

These oocytes, when activated and exposed to sperm become embryos which can then be transferred to a primed uterus.  The risk for genetic disease (such as trisomies) increases with the age of the egg and very much less so, dependent upon the age of the uterus.  The oocyte is Type A; the uterus is not.

Think about your narrative and the possibility of a dream deferred as opposed to a dream impaired.

Interested in learning more about egg freezing and your options? Contact us!

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Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D.

Danielle Vitiello, Ph.D., M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility