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Egg Freezing - Procedure & Cost in india

Altius hospital - what is egg freezing & cost of egg freezing in India

Egg freezing Overview

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is a procedure that allows women to preserve their fertility by preserving their eggs for future use. This process enables women to delay pregnancy until they are ready, whether for personal, professional, or medical reasons.

 

What is the purpose of egg freezing?

Several key reasons why women might choose to freeze their eggs:

  • Career Planning: Many women prioritize their careers and professional development during their reproductive years. Egg freezing provides the opportunity to focus on career goals without the pressure of a ticking biological clock. Egg freezing allows them to plan pregnancy at a more convenient time.
  • Medical Reasons: Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation for cancer can impact fertility. Women who need to undergo such treatments often choose to freeze their eggs beforehand. This preserves their ability to have biological children after completing their treatment.
  • Personal Reasons: Personal and financial circumstances might make some women feel that they are not ready to have children. Egg freezing offers the flexibility to delay childbirth until they feel more prepared.

 

Who should consider egg freezing?

Age limit for egg freezing

  • Women in Their Late 20s to Early 30s: This is the best age range for egg freezing. At this age, the eggs are generally healthier and of higher quality compared to later years. Freezing eggs at this stage can increase the likelihood of successful fertilization and pregnancy in the future.
  • Women in Their Mid to Late 30s: While fertility begins to decline in the mid-30s, many women in will still have viable eggs. Freezing eggs before the age of 38 can still offer a reasonable chance of future pregnancy success.

 

Medical Conditions that warrant egg freezing

  • Women Undergoing Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can significantly impact fertility. Women diagnosed with cancer might choose to freeze their eggs before starting treatment. This will help them preserve their ability to have children in the future.
  • Women with Autoimmune Diseases: Conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis may require treatments that affect fertility. This is one of the reasons to consider egg freezing.
  • Family History: Women with a family history of early menopause or premature ovarian failure may choose to freeze their eggs. This will ensure they have viable eggs available if their natural fertility declines sooner than expected

 

The egg freezing process

Initial Consultation

The first step in the egg freezing process is the initial consultation. During this visit, you can expect the following:

  1. Medical History Review: Our fertility specialists will take a detailed medical history. They will check for any previous pregnancies, menstrual cycle patterns, medical conditions, surgeries, and family history of genetic disorders.
  2. Physical Examination: Doctor will conduct a comprehensive physical and pelvic examination to assess reproductive health.
  3. Blood Tests: The doctor will check hormone levels through blood tests to evaluate ovarian reserve. This will help assess the quantity and quality of eggs. Common tests include Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH), Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Estradiol levels.
  4. Ultrasound: The doctor will perform a transvaginal ultrasound to examine the ovaries and count antral follicles. Antral follicles are small follicles that can potentially develop into mature eggs).
  5. Discussion of Process and Expectations: Our doctor will explain the egg freezing process in detail. They will discuss potential risks and answer any questions. They will also provide an explain in detail the timeline, costs, and what to expect during each stage.

 

Ovarian Stimulation for egg freezing

  1. Once the initial consultation and evaluations are complete, the next step is ovarian stimulation. This involves:
  2. Hormone Injections: Doctors administer hormone injections (usually for about 10-14 days) to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
  3. Monitoring: During the stimulation phase, regular visits to the our hospital are necessary for blood tests and ultrasounds. Doctors perform this to monitor the development of the follicles and adjust medication doses as needed.
  4. Final Maturation: When the follicles are ready, doctors give a “trigger shot” to induce the eggs’ final maturation. This usually happens after 10 – 14 days.

 

Egg retrieval

The egg retrieval procedure is a minor procedure performed under sedation or anesthesia. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Preparation: The patient will arrive at Altius hospital on the scheduled day, having fasted as instructed. For comfort, the doctor will administer sedation or light anesthesia.
  2. Transvaginal Ultrasound Aspiration: Using ultrasound, a thin needle is inserted through the vaginal wall into the ovarian follicles to retrieve the eggs. This procedure typically takes about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Recovery: After the procedure, the patient will rest in our hospital for a short period before going home. Mild cramping or spotting may occur, but most patients can resume normal activities within a day or two.

 

Egg freezing

Once the doctor retrieves the eggs, they rapidly freeze them using a process known as vitrification. Here’s how it works:

  1. Assessment: The doctors assess the maturity of the retrieved eggs. Only mature eggs (metaphase II) are suitable for freezing.
  2. Cryoprotectants: Doctors treat the eggs with cryoprotectants. These are special solutions that protect the cells from damage during the freezing process.
  3. Vitrification: Vitrification involves rapidly cooling the eggs to prevent the formation of ice crystals, which can damage the cells. Doctors place the eggs in cryo-straws or vials and then submerge them in liquid nitrogen at -196°C.
  4. Storage: Then we store the frozen eggs in a cryopreservation tank filled with liquid nitrogen. They can remain in storage for many years, retaining their viability for future use.
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Duration of Storage

Eggs can be stored for an extended period without losing their viability. Technically, they can be stored indefinitely. The vitrification process effectively halts biological time, meaning that the eggs do not age or degrade while frozen.

Usage of Frozen eggs

Thawing

When a woman decides to use her frozen eggs, the process begins with careful thawing.

We perform thawing in a controlled laboratory environment. The vitrified eggs are rapidly warmed using a carefully controlled process. This is to prevent ice crystal formation, which can damage the eggs. The vials containing the eggs are gradually exposed to a series of solutions that help to remove the cryoprotectants used during freezing.

Once thawed, the eggs are assessed for viability. This involves checking for any signs of damage and ensuring that the eggs have survived the thawing process intact. Not all eggs may survive, but vitrification has a high survival rate.

Fertilization

After thawing, the viable eggs are ready for fertilization through in vitro fertilization (IVF). The steps are as follows:

  1. Sperm Preparation: Sperm is collected from the male partner or a sperm donor. We then processed and prepare the sperm for fertilization.
  2. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): Due to the nature of egg freezing and thawing, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is often used to fertilize the eggs. In ICSI, we directly inject a single sperm into a mature egg using a fine needle. This method increases the chances of successful fertilization, especially with previously frozen eggs.
  3. Fertilization Monitoring: After ICSI, we montior eggs for signs of fertilization. This typically occurs within 18-24 hours. Successfully fertilized eggs, now called embryos, will be cultured in the laboratory for several days.

 

Embryo Development and Transfer

Once fertilization is confirmed, we culture the embryos and monitor them for development:

  1. Embryo Culture: The embryos are cultured for about 3 to 5 days in the laboratory. During this time, they develop from the zygote stage (one-cell) to the blastocyst stage (many cells). Our embryologists will monitor their development and select the best quality embryos for transfer.
  2. Preimplantation Genetic Testing (Optional): Some patients may opt for preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to screen embryos for genetic abnormalities before transfer. This can improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of certain genetic conditions.
  3. Embryo Transfer: The highest-quality embryo(s) are selected for transfer to the woman’s uterus. The embryo transfer procedure is relatively simple and involves placing the embryo into the uterus using a thin catheter. This is usually done under ultrasound guidance and does not require anesthesia.
  4. Luteal Phase Support: After the embryo transfer, the doctor may prescribed hormonal medications such as progesterone. This is to support the uterine lining and increase the chances of successful implantation and pregnancy.
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Post Transfer Monitoring

Following the embryo transfer, the woman undergoes several steps to monitor the success of the procedure and confirm pregnancy:

  1. Pregnancy Test: About 10-14 days after the embryo transfer, we conduct a blood test to measure the levels of hCG. This is a hormone produced during pregnancy. A positive test indicates that implantation has occurred.
  2. Early Pregnancy Monitoring: If the pregnancy test is positive, we schedule follow-up appointments for blood tests and ultrasounds. These help monitor the early stages of pregnancy.
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Cost of Egg Freezing

Factors Influencing Cost

Many factors influence the total cost of egg freezing, including:

  1. Clinic Location: Clinics in larger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore charge higher fees compared to those in smaller cities. This is because of their higher rents & associated costs.
  2. Clinic Reputation:  Reputed clinics with advanced facilities and experienced specialists will have higher costs.
  3. Individual Medical Needs: The number of cycles required, the patient’s response to ovarian stimulation, and any additional treatments or tests can affect the overall cost.

 

Egg Freezing : Cost breakdown

Initial Consultation 

The initial consultation with a fertility specialist typically costs about ₹2,000. This fee covers a comprehensive review of medical history, a physical examination and preliminary discussions about the process. At Altius, we currently have a free first consultation offer running and you can save on this cost completely.

Pre-Procedure Tests and Evaluations

  • Blood Tests: Hormone level tests (e.g., AMH, FSH, Estradiol) can normally cost up to ₹5,000.
  • Ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve and follicle count can cost about ₹2,500.

Ovarian Stimulation

  • Medication: Hormone injections required for ovarian stimulation are a significant part of the cost. The total cost of medication can range from ₹50,000 to ₹1,00,000 depending on the dosage and duration of treatment.

Egg Retrieval

  • Procedure Fee: The egg retrieval procedure, which includes anesthesia and the surgical process, typically costs between ₹50,000 to ₹1,00,000.

Freezing and Storage

  • Vitrification Process: The cost of the vitrification process (freezing the eggs) usually ranges from ₹20,000 to ₹40,000.
  • Storage Fee: Annual storage fees for the frozen eggs can go up to ₹30,000 per year.

Total Estimated Cost

The total cost for the entire egg freezing process in most centers across India can range from ₹2,00,000 to ₹3,50,000 for one cycle.

At Altius, we currently have a limited period discount and we are offering egg freezing at ₹1,70,000. This would be an ideal deal for patients looking for a reputed center for egg freezing at an affordable cost. This cost would include everything from injections to egg pickup and also storage cost for the first one year. 

How does Altius provide Egg freezing at lower cost without compromising on Quality

Egg freezing package at ₹1,70,000 is a very low price compared to our competition in Bangalore. We have managed to offer such a low price because of the following factors:

  1. Self-Owned Facility: Altius owns its operational space, eliminating the need for rental expenses. This a major cost for any hospital or clinic in a city like Bangalore.
  2. Decades of Experience: Altius has over 30 years of operational experience and a over a lakh procedures. With this, we have established strong relationships with vendors thereby securing favourable pricing.
  3. In-House Expertise: With a family of doctors, Altius relies on its internal team without the need for external consultants, minimising costs.
  4. Renowned Specialist: Dr. Ramesh’s global reputation helps Altius get top-notch equipment for operating theaters and IVF labs at great prices. Equipment providers are honored to have their products used by such a respected clinician.
  5. Integrated Para-Medical Collaboration: The collaborative efforts of para-medical staff across all departments contribute to efficient and cost-effective patient care.
  6. Physician-Powered Efficiency: Altius is a brand led by a doctor with a family of doctors. We operate strategically without a separate corporate team for marketing and management. This not only uses in-house expertise but also saves on administrative costs by not needing external consultants

Our Patients testimonials

"Dr Ramesh sir is very good person. Recommended for all infertility issues. All doctors and staff arehaving friendly natures. always above expectation. Personal care and service by all and doctor fantastic ...... I appreciate all the work from day to night duty staff nurses......."
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Rajesh R

"Specialized hospital for infertility, IVF and urogynaecologists. Staffs are very co-operating and very good ambience. My Wife treated for endometriosis cyst and safe now."


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Raghunandan

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