Instructions

Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Freezing

    • Introduction of Egg Freezing
    The egg freezing process is similar to the early stages of test tube baby process. Both require medication and ovulation injections to stimulate follicular growth. The difference is that in egg freezing, eggs are retrieved and stored, and the for test tube baby, once the egg is retrieved, it is then combined with the sperm of the spouse to form into an embryo before it is implanted. The entire egg freezing process takes about 2 to 3 weeks. At Lee Women’s Hospital, we have also designed a special treatment where only two injections are required, incorporating oral medication, to achieve the effect of 20 injections in a general egg freezing process.
     
    • Recommended patients for egg freezing
     ● Young women under the age of 35 years old who have are not yet considering childbirth
     ● Before undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy for ovarian tumors
     ● People with no uterus or damaged uterine function, while within the legal waiting period for a surrogate mother
     ● Women with a family history of premature ovarian failure, and women with autoimmune diseases
     ● When the husband is azoospermia, on the day the wife retrieve the egg and the husband could not successful obtain the sperm, then the wife can temporarily freeze the egg while waiting for the donor sperm.
     
    • The examinations before egg freezing
    There are two tests that has to be done before freezing the eggs to confirm whether the ovarian function is normal:
    1. Blood test (ovarian reserve index (AMH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH))
    2. Ultrasound examination (assessment of ovarian follicles)
    As long as the ovarian reserve indicator (AMH) is greater than 2 and the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is less than 10, then the ovarian function is considered normal.
    The report for both examinations can be done on the Next visit. After the doctor evaluates that the ovarian function is normal, the egg freezing treatment will then be arranged.
     
    • Process of egg freezing
    【Step 1】
    On the 1st to 3rd days of menstruation, patient will go to the hospital to take an ovulation needle, and conduct blood test and vaginal ultrasound examination (for non-sexual patients, observation of the follicles can be done from the abdomen or rectum). On the 8th to 9th day of menstruation, patient needs to return to the hospital to track the follicles and confirm the time for egg retrieval. During this period, it is still necessary for the patient to cooperate with the medication to induce ovulation, blood test and vaginal ultrasound examination. The dosage will be adjusted as seen fit. During the whole process, it is necessary for the patient to have about 2-3 times follow-up visits.

    【Step 2】
    When the follicle is mature, the doctor will prescribe an egg retrieval injection. The patient must go to the hospital for vaginal egg retrieval within 36 hours after the injection. The egg retrieval process takes about 10 minutes. To avoid discomfort, a light general anesthesia is required. After the egg is retrieved, it will be stored in a liquid nitrogen container at -196°C.
    凍卵流程圖(英)


    “Egg freezing” can also be regarded as a kind of "insurance" for fertility, where the main concept of “insurance” is “better safe than sorry.”
    You don’t need to use the best in the future, but in case you need to use it in the future, you will definitely thank yourself for your wise decision.


    Lee Women’s Hospital has had the technology of egg freezing and the experience of infertility treatment since 1986, achieving the survival rate of eggs after defrosting at almost around 90%, and the pregnancy rate at about 60%. Not only is the quality of the eggs as good as the prognosis of defrosted embryos of women of the same age, but also having a much higher success rate. Furthermore, there isn’t an increase in the chance of malformations or autosomal abnormality. Currently, we have recorded successful childbirth cases where the eggs had been frozen for 10~20 years and were successfully implanted after defrosting! What’s more, according to the regulations of the Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, there is no time limit in freezing the egg, thus it can be defrosted and used without the pressure of time limit. You can have a peace of mind that Lee Women’s Hospital will protect the future of your dearest baby!

    《The above information has been provided by Dr. Chun-I Lee, Department of Infertility, Lee Women’s Hospital》
  • The cryopreservation of human gamete has long been in development for decades. It has been proved that the goal of conception can be realized by the adoption of cryopreservation of sperm through artificial insemination ever since 1953. On the other hand, due to the larger size of the ovum and embryo which tends to be damaged by the formation of ice crystals during the freezing process, the case of successful thawed egg has never been reported until 1986. Compared with spermatozoa, the cryopreservation ovum technique is more difficult and with obviously lower efficiency.

    Thanks to the rapid development of vitrification, a type of refrigeration technology that applies the techniques of cell dehydration and hypervelocity cooling, we are able to effectively reduce the formation of ice crystals within the cells during the freezing process, which has greatly improved the survival probability of defrosted ovum and embryo in recent years. In 1999, the first live birth from frozen human egg is precisely a success breakthrough based on this technique, and the research in recent years has also proven that the survival rate of frozen ovum under vitrification is not different from fresh eggs. Therefore in 2012, the fact that the refrigeration technology of vitrification can be used in routine clinical practice or work is recognized by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

    The cryopreservation of frozen sperm, egg, and embryo has already become our regular routine and the refrigeration equipment for vitrification we employ is believed to be the best commercially available on for optimum efficiency. The suitable targets for egg cryopreservation include: egg donors, those planning.
    冷凍精卵、胚胎(英)
    1. Place the ovum (or embryo) in vitrification reagent where cell dehydration will be processed to avoid the formation of ice crystals that can lead to egg (or embryo) damage.
    2. Put the ovum (or embryo) and a very small amount of cryo-protectant (cryo-protective agent) on cryo-vial.
    3. Shift it promptly into liquid nitrogen where hypervelocity cooling (about minus 2000 degrees Celsius per minute) enables the egg (or embryo) to reach the vitrification stage.
    4. Store the ovum (or embryo) in a liquid nitrogen container (storage vessel) for long-term preservation.

    “Egg freezing” can also be regarded as a kind of "insurance" for fertility, where the main concept of “insurance” is “better safe than sorry.”
    You don’t need to use the best in the future, but in case you need to use it in the future, you will definitely thank yourself for your wise decision.


    Lee Women’s Hospital has had the technology of egg freezing and the experience of infertility treatment since 1986, achieving the survival rate of eggs after defrosting at almost around 90%, and the pregnancy rate at about 60%. Not only is the quality of the eggs as good as the prognosis of defrosted embryos of women of the same age, but also having a much higher success rate. Furthermore, there isn’t an increase in the chance of malformations or autosomal abnormality. Currently, we have recorded successful childbirth cases where the eggs had been frozen for 10~20 years and were successfully implanted after defrosting! What’s more, according to the regulations of the Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, there is no time limit in freezing the egg, thus it can be defrosted and used without the pressure of time limit. You can have a peace of mind that Lee Women’s Hospital will protect the future of your dearest baby!

    《The above information has been provided by Dr. Chun-I Lee, Department of Infertility, Lee Women’s Hospital》
    • Who Needs to Freezing Egg?
     ● Young women under the age of 35 years old who have are not yet considering childbirth
     ● Before undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy for ovarian tumors
     ● People with no uterus or damaged uterine function, while within the legal waiting period for a surrogate mother
     ● Women with a family history of premature ovarian failure, and women with autoimmune diseases
     ● When the husband is azoospermia, on the day the wife retrieve the egg and the husband could not successful obtain the sperm, then the wife can temporarily freeze the egg while waiting for the donor sperm.
     
    • The examinations before egg freezing
    There are two tests that has to be done before freezing the eggs to confirm whether the ovarian function is normal:
    1. Blood test (ovarian reserve index (AMH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH))
    2. Ultrasound examination (assessment of ovarian follicles)
    As long as the ovarian reserve indicator (AMH) is greater than 2 and the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is less than 10, then the ovarian function is considered normal.
    The report for both examinations can be done on the same day. After the doctor evaluates that the ovarian function is normal, the egg freezing treatment will then be arranged.
     
    • What matter should I be aware of before freezing eggs?
    Before egg freezing, all that needs to be done is to carefully choose an experienced and professional egg freeing institution, and you need not worry too much about the rest. When choosing an egg freeing institution, some people will put more consideration on the price, but in actual fact, the process of freezing eggs does not stop at the retrieval and the freeze storing, but what’s more important is the need to consider the future recovery rate and success rate, so that you will not find all trouble that you’ve gone through to spend the money to freeze the eggs only to find that they are unusable at the time of implantation! It’ll be too late for regret then. Therefore, instead of price, the most important thing is how good the technique of the reproductive center that carries out the egg freezing technology is.
     
    • Will the ovulation injection carried out for egg freezing affects the body? Can I still work as per normal?
    Generally speaking, women only ovulate one egg per month. What egg greeting does it to first use "oral ovulation medicine" or "ovulation injections" to stimulate the growth of ovarian follicles to achieve the goal of multiple eggs maturing at the same time. Basically, the treatment has little effect on the body. Only women with polycystic syndrome whom due to their well respond to the drugs may cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Therefore, for women with this disorder, the doctor will reduce the dose to avoid possible side effects.

    Many patients will ask how long the egg freezing treatment will take and whether it will affect their work. Under normal circumstances, short treatment is often used. The treatment period is about one month. However, for those woman who cannot come to the clinic often for follow-ups due to busy work, they can also choose the latest treatment where only 2 injections are required. The same ovulation effect can be achieved by oral medication after that. The entire treatment only requires a minimum of 2~3 visits. There are currently several patients who chose to use this latest treatment due to their career in the performing arts and cannot find much time.

    As for how long one needs to rest after the retrieval of the eggs. If possible, it is recommended that the patient take a day off on the day of the retrieval. However, in reality, many women in Europe and the United States go to work directly after the retrieval. The treatment does not have much impact on the body.
     
    • How many eggs should be frozen to be considered sufficient?
    Due to the possibility of the eggs having autosomal abnormality or unsuccessful fertilization of eggs. Therefore, it is recommended that women under the age of 35 preserve at least 10 eggs, and for more advanced aged patients, about 20 eggs are recommended.
     
    • Does egg freezing affect the quality?
    Presently, our hospital uses the latest ultra-fast freezing technology (vitrification freezing technology), thus the survival rate of eggs after thawing is about 80% to 90%, and the success rate of pregnancy after embryo implantation once fertilization is completed, is not far from that of fresh eggs.
    At the same time, the eggs are kept in the same condition as the instant they were stored. This way the patient can avoid the increasing chances of giving birth to unhealthy babies due to the effect aging has on egg quality!
     
    • How is retrieval of eggs processed?
    Egg retrieval is all conducted between 5 am to 8 am in the morning. Fasting (including boiling water) is required 8 hours before the retrieval of the eggs. After undergoing a general anesthesia via the vein, having done the selection within the range of the vaginal ultrasound imaging, the mature ovarian follicle and the follicular fluid are extracted.
    The process takes about 20 to 40 minutes. The patient will be able to leave the surgery room after the anesthesia recovery period. Most patients can leave the hospital around 10 am. The surgical procedure is done through the vagina, therefore from appearance, there will be no wound.

    “Egg freezing” can also be regarded as a kind of "insurance" for fertility, where the main concept of “insurance” is “better safe than sorry.”
    You don’t need to use the best in the future, but in case you need to use it in the future, you will definitely thank yourself for your wise decision.


    Lee Women’s Hospital has had the technology of egg freezing and the experience of infertility treatment since 1986, achieving the survival rate of eggs after defrosting at almost around 90%, and the pregnancy rate at about 60%. Not only is the quality of the eggs as good as the prognosis of defrosted embryos of women of the same age, but also having a much higher success rate. Furthermore, there isn’t an increase in the chance of malformations or autosomal abnormality. Currently, we have recorded successful childbirth cases where the eggs had been frozen for 10~20 years and were successfully implanted after defrosting! What’s more, according to the regulations of the Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, there is no time limit in freezing the egg, thus it can be defrosted and used without the pressure of time limit. You can have a peace of mind that Lee Women’s Hospital will protect the future of your dearest baby!

    《The above information has been provided by Dr. Chun-I Lee, Department of Infertility, Lee Women’s Hospital》