Frequently Asked Questions

Since when does “Ovita” exist?

We have been offering the cryopreservation of unfertilized oocytes in the context of fertility preservation since 2010. Our IVF centers that are dedicated to treat unwanted childlessness have dealt intensively with these issues for more than 30 years. Thanks to excellent pioneering achievements, such as the development of special freezing techniques (vitrification) to cryopreserve eggs at different stages (unfertilized, fertilized eggs from day 1 to day 6 of embryonic development) our centers can draw on a great deal of experience.

However, only upon implementation of the novel freezing technique using “Vitrisafe®” in whose development we played a major role, we are actually able to successfully thaw more than 95 % of the frozen eggs. We now offer this technique to take precautionary steps towards fertility preservation using the motto “I choose the right moment”. Ovita itself is not a separate company, but a "working title". Of course we have already performed oocyte cryopreservation, e.g. on cancer patients when these new freezing techniques had not yet been developed always using cutting-edge freezing techniques recognized at the time. Up until 10 years ago, this was performed at our centers under the working title “Scientific development”.

Ovita has been one of the pioneer workgroups in the field of cryopreservation: How long have you been doing this?

Please see above.

How many times a year?

Currently, we are carrying out initial conversations on these issues on a daily basis. We have witnessed growing demand since we first started offering this procedure.

What are the main reasons why women choose this option?

Women who haven’t found the right partner yet, women who want to have children but postpone childbearing to a later age, women whose partners are not yet ready to start a family...

What is the shelf life of cryopreserved oocytes?

In principle, their shelf life is unlimited since they can be stored at –190° Celsius in a closed system. The oocytes are not exposed to any pollutants from the environment, thus preventing the accumulation of harmful substances (fine dust particles, odorous substances etc.) in the cells. This is a key contributing factor which prompted us to start offering this particular procedure! What is the average number of oocytes kept in storage for one woman? Are there only a few or several dozen oocytes? It depends on the woman’s age. A healthy woman up to the age of 35 should have about 10 oocytes frozen. Beyond that age, women will need, depending on their medical findings, 20 – 40 oocytes (1 to 3 stimulation cycles). In Switzerland, it is currently allowed to store cryopreserved oocytes for up to 5 years. Efforts are being made to increase this storage period.

Can the oocytes get damaged?

No. Please refer to the above information regarding “Vitrisafe®” - the answer is no since the cells are hermetically isolated from all hazardous environmental influences.

Potential risks for the woman?

Although the risks are low, every woman needs specific information and counseling.

Does it make sense to use these cryopreserved eggs in a future in vitro fertilization and transfer them to the woman’s womb without having previously performed pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in order to check whether they survived the freezing/thawing process without damage?

This is a subject to be discussed in the future, if, at a later stage, the woman may have to deal with fertility issues. If, in such a case, the infertility issues are not due to genetic problems, PGD would not be appropriate. P.S. Details on these topics had been discussed at a World Congress that was held in Bregenz in May 2012. See http://www.pgdis-2012.com/

Would it therefore be possible for 20 year old women to have their oocytes frozen while they’re still young, thus being able to pursue their careers (as your website so aptly states) and delay childbearing to their mid-forties using these young, fresh eggs to fulfill their desire to have children?

Yes, but only if it turns out that these women cannot then get pregnant naturally. These oocytes may only be used in compliance with the current legal provisions. It is, however, possible to use these cryopreserved eggs in an IVF treatment within our NEXTCLINICS group, where such indication is not required. We have to strictly adhere to the respective national legal regulations.

Does this really make sense?

Yes, it does. The current legislation will certainly adapt to the changed socio-economic structures within the next few years!

Is this method recognized and paid for by health insurers provided that certain medical criteria are met?

In part: in special situations (for example cancer treatment), see "FertiPROTEKT" – we in the NEXTCLINIC IVF Zentren Prof. Zech - Bregenz are part of this initiative. Even in the case of endometriosis German Kassen pay at least a part.

From an ethical point of view, isn’t it somewhat questionable if companies from the health sector promote having a professional career and postpone childbearing until later in life? What if it doesn’t work out? In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect method and thus IVF or ICSI might fail.

We are mortals not gods and therefore cannot work wonders, but we are committed to excellence and do our very best each day to provide high-quality treatment. This has proven successful a thousand times over in treating “unwanted childlessness”. We have now turned our attention to women who do not want to have a baby right now, since, for the first time, we can rely on a procedure called Vitrisafe®, providing a safe, closed system to store oocytes.

What would happen to the frozen oocytes if the woman died? Is the husband entitled to use them?

Upon the death of the woman, her oocytes will be discarded immediately and not used for any other purpose.

Do you provide a guarantee or would it be just bad luck if the implantation failed at age 45?

You will not receive a guarantee for any medical intervention. We are honestly striving to provide medical service to the best of our knowledge and in accordance with the current state of the art. It would be dubious if we offered such guarantees.

Why do you think that the future belongs to “social egg freezing”?

This is both a consequence of the above reasons and the current demographic developments. Women do need more personal freedom, and we are therefore offering our novel technique to support them – just that, nothing more and nothing less.

How long have you been working in the field of in vitro fertilization?

H. Zech: I habilitated in this field and have been working since 1979 with increasing intensity, in the field of reproductive medicine and genetics.

Ovita in your region

Please contact the
Ovita Centers for Oocyte Cryopreservation
Tel: +43 5574 44836
office@ovita.eu
www.ovita.eu

Our team will be happy to help you!

Ovita - Travel Services

You wish to enter the appointment with us
as relaxed as possible?

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Travel-Services  

News & interesting facts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/18/eggs-frozen-young-women
Scientific presentation by the team of Ovita:   Live Birth Rate After Aseptic Vitrification of MII Oocytes In Closed Carrier Devices   2nd World Congress on Fertility Preservation Miami Be...
by Nancy Hass PREV Alexander the Great NEXT A Dangerous Mind: Francis Alÿs at MoMA The wallet-size case, cleverly designed by the drug company to fit the hypodermic needles and the tiny vials of ...

Information Events

 
Exciting information events on the issue of social egg freezing using special freezing methods (= freezing, cryopreservation) in order to preserve a woman's fertility.

Univ. Prof. Dr. Herbert Zech
Specialist in gynecology and obstetrics

Learn more about the upcoming events, the locations where they Update & Exitwill be held and our web platform. The participation is free of charge!

Register now