The egg freezing method offers the opportunity to become a mother at a later age

Gynecology Obstetrics and IVF Specialist Assoc. Dr. Dawn Olgan; provided information on egg freezing, the importance of age in pregnancy and the effects of smoking on this process.

Olgan mentioned that there is an increase in the number of infertile couples these days and stated that couples consult a doctor after unprotected intercourse during a certain period of time after marriage and only when there is no pregnancy at the end of this period.

Olgan said the percentage of people who had difficulty conceiving a child was 1 in 10 patients in the past, but today it has dropped to 1 in 6 couples. The sedentary lifestyle has increased and obesity has become a major problem. When bad habits were added to this, both egg and sperm quality deteriorated. Egg and sperm cells are normally reproductive cells. In other words, a healthy egg and a healthy sperm are needed to have a child. We can therefore say that the chance of having a baby from a deteriorated egg cell and sperm cell decreases.”

Mentioning that age matters during pregnancy, Ogan pointed out that today’s couples don’t get married in their 20s, and those who don’t think about having kids.

“Women’s reproductive capacity declines with age”

Olgan said pregnancy is delayed until the age of 40 and said: “In recent years, the increasing role of women in society, career plans and the increasing importance of educational activities are slowing down plans for marriage and having a child. However, there is a situation like this. In women, reproductive cells, namely eggs, are formed once when they are babies in the mother’s womb and gradually decrease as they age. In other words, if a woman is 30 years old, the egg becomes 30, and if a woman is 40 years old, the egg becomes the same age. With current technology, we probably cannot prevent this reduction, nor do we have a chance to increase the number of eggs. Couples who want to have children later in life also have less chance of getting pregnant due to this situation. In addition, while the frequency of genetically problematic eggs is increasing, the number of eggs in hand is declining. Therefore, age for women is an important factor that should not be ignored.

“It is successfully implemented in our country”

Şafak Olgan stated that the fertility potential of unmarried single people can be protected with current technology, saying, “Egg freezing was first performed on a single patient in Australia in 1986. Then, with the advancement of technology in the 2000s, more up-to-date, more successful approaches called vitrification began to be used. After 2010, these procedures were used successfully in Europe and America and these treatments were no longer experimental. treatment has been successfully carried out in Turkey since 2014. Our country is at a very successful point in the field of assisted reproduction treatment according to world standards.

Olgan reported that egg freezing has been legal in Turkey since 2014.

Individuals who have undergone egg freezing

Noting that egg freezing is not practiced in every patient, Olgan said, “One of the major factors is cancer patients. Our women can get cancer at a young age. Drugs like chemotherapy and radiotherapy used in cancer treatment kill cancer cells and damage the ovarian tissue. Therefore, the woman’s reproductive capacity decreases. It can be used. Apart from cancer patients, if a mother, aunt and sister in the family have a history of early menopause, this puts them in the high-risk group. Eicelbev riezing can also be applied in this group of patients.In addition, egg freezing before surgery offers great benefit in patients with cysts in both ovaries that need to be removed surgically, as the egg strength will decrease significantly during surgery.However, apart from all these, another group that needs to freeze eggs is patients with reduced egg strength.

“How to understand that the egg reserve is low”

Olgan also provided information on how to understand if a woman’s egg reserve is declining. “When ultrasound is done, doctors can count the eggs in the ovaries or request hormone tests. When women’s egg strength decreases, there is a frequency in menstrual patterns. If the person has regular periods between 28-30 days, this gradually shortens to 27, 26, 25, 24. Therefore, the first intervals of menstruation can be interpreted as a decrease in egg strength.”

“Egg Freezing Process”

Olgan gave information about the process of egg freezing and said, “Egg freezing treatment is no different from in vitro fertilization treatment and similar applications are made. Blood tests are done during menstruation. Egg counts in the ovaries are made with ultrasound checks and injections are started. A needle course of 8-10 days is applied, which is very small, similar to an insulin injection, which the patients can also do themselves. This process continues until the egg sacs enlarge and then a very simple surgical procedure is performed with mask anesthesia in the operating room.By means of a needle through the vaginal route, those water sacs are withdrawn and the eggs are separated into the fluids, after which the freezing process is performed by embryologists with high-tech devices for healthy eggs.

“The younger the age, the healthier the egg”

Olgan emphasized that the quality and number of eggs is affected by age, pointing out that the younger the age, the more likely the eggs will be healthy, and that the number of frozen eggs is also an important factor.

Emphasizing that obtaining 8 to 10 oocytes in patients under the age of 35 will ensure pregnancy at reasonable rates, Olga said, “However, as age progresses, the number of oocytes to be obtained will need to increase.”

“The importance of age in treatment”

Olgan said of the advantages of egg freezing over IVF treatment: “Obviously, it may have different benefits for different patients. If a 36-year-old woman’s oocyte strength turns out to be low, if the patient marries within a year, a classic post-marriage IVF treatment may be more beneficial for this patient. marries 3 to 5 years, he is over 40 and the success of IVF treatment, which can be beneficial at the age of 36, will decrease significantly when he is 40. In this case, the benefit of egg freezing comes to the fore, therefore the age at which treatment is started is a very important factor, both in egg freezing and in classic IVF treatments.

“Smoking must have stopped 2-3 months ago”

Şafak Olgan, who listed the things to be considered before and during egg freezing treatment, said: “Reproductive cells reflect the general state of health. In other words, a person’s diet and general health affect the function of the reproductive cells, that is, the woman’s egg and the man’s sperm. That is why a healthy diet is very important. Another important factor is smoking and alcohol consumption. The use of cigarettes and alcohol should be stopped almost 2-3 months before starting such treatments.

“The power of smoking women’s eggs is running out quickly”

Olgan opened a separate parenthesis about smoking, saying, “Smoking has two main effects. The egg power of smokers is exhausted more quickly. For example, the average age of menopause in Turkey is 49 years and in Europe it is 51 years. A woman who smokes risks menstruating a few years below the normal average age. Therefore, smoking causes premature depletion of women’s ovary banks, which are very valuable. The second effect of smoking is that it directly damages the eggs. Therefore, it can not only reduce the strength of the eggs, but also affect the quality of the eggs collected during the treatment. In particular, couples planning to have children before such egg freezing procedures and even to have a child of their own, both men and women should stop smoking.

“Not Unlimited”

Olga stressed that women should care about their age during pregnancy: “Recently, women in their 30s think their reproductive potential is unlimited and postpone having children depending on their career, or prefer to remain single because they cannot find a suitable candidate. For this reason, they prefer children around 40 years old. They believe that if their sister or their mother has a child in their 40s, they can also get pregnant in old age by relying on this. Unfortunately age is still the most important factor as the number of eggs is personal. Although the person’s relatives have been lucky, the woman’s fertility declines significantly with age, and IVF treatment is not always successful for age-related problems. For this reason, efforts should be made not to leave the request for children over the age of 38 and 39. Especially high-risk patients, women with a family history of early menopause, women who have had previous ovarian surgery, or patients who have already been reported by their doctor as having low egg capacity should pay more attention to this issue. It should be known that egg freezing is an option, especially for single patients, and that should not be forgotten.”

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