The process of egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) involves stimulating the ovaries with hormones to produce multiple eggs, retrieving the eggs from the ovaries, cryopreserving them, and then storing them for later use.
Fertility preservation services like egg freezing provide a way for women to safeguard their fertility, despite the passage of time.
Egg quantity and quality begin to diminish when a woman is in her 20s.
As young as 34, women are considered of “advanced maternal age.”
One in eight American women have fertility issues.
Approximately 13% of women aged 35-39 will suffer from infertility at some point.
With the emergence of greatly successful egg freezing technologies, more and more women are citing non-medical reasons to delay starting a family, such as focusing on their careers and education, finding the right life partner, or simply not being ready yet.
Cryopreservation of eggs may also be a viable option for patients undergoing IVF treatments that result in an excess number of embryos. If the excess embryos are ideal in quality, they can be frozen for future attempts at pregnancy.
Though common, age is only one factor that may motivate a woman to freeze her eggs. Recently, we have seen more young women facing recurrences of either ovarian endometriosis cysts or ovarian dermoid cysts. To hopefully avoid losing all of their ovarian tissue to these benign, but nonetheless progressively destructive conditions, these women are seeking fertility preservation.
IVFMD’s approach to stimulating ovaries and harvesting eggs for long-term storage is simple, time-efficient, highly cost-competitive, and minimally disruptive. In most women under the age of 35, we see a recovery rate of approximately 70% of all cryopreserved mature oocytes, allowing for quite realistic chances to conceive a child through subsequent in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer.
At IVFMD we don’t just freeze your eggs; we truly care about your reproductive future!
Should I freeze my eggs?
There are many reasons why women decide to freeze their eggs. Regardless of whether you are considering egg freezing for lifestyle-related or medical reasons, the first step is to evaluate your fertility.
IVFMD offers basic screenings, such as hormone and AMH blood testing, as well as ultrasounds to count your follicles, which can help you decide if egg freezing is right for you.
What is the ideal age for a woman to freeze her eggs?
Eggs are at their best quality and quantity during a woman’s 20s and early 30s, making it the best time to undergo oocyte cryopreservation.
A woman is born with all of the number of eggs she will ever have, and over time, they diminish in number and quality. This decline in quality explains why a woman in her 40s has only a 5% chance for becoming pregnant each month, and her eggs have an increased chance for aneuploidy (an abnormal number of chromosomes) after age 45.
Despite this, the uterus is still capable of carrying a child well into a woman’s 40s, making healthy, frozen eggs a great solution for achieving pregnancy later in life.
What is the process to retrieve a woman’s eggs for freezing?
The total time from stimulation start to egg retrieval is usually 12 days. In order to prepare the eggs for retrieval, the patient will have frequent office visits, during which she will undergo hormone treatments to promote egg maturation and be monitored for progress and safety.
Once the eggs have adequately matured, they are removed with a needle through the vagina under ultrasound guidance. This procedure is done under intravenous sedation and pain control and is usually well tolerated. The eggs are then immediately flash frozen through a process called vitrification, which prevents crystallization, before storing.
Following egg retrieval, the woman goes home and requires no further treatment until she decides to use her frozen eggs.
Will I experience any symptoms after retrieving my eggs?
A menstrual period will occur approximately 2 weeks after the retrieval.
How long do frozen eggs last?
Eggs can remain frozen and be viable for use for many years.
What do I do when I’m ready to get pregnant using my frozen eggs?
When the patient is ready to use her frozen eggs to attempt pregnancy, the eggs are thawed, injected with a single sperm to achieve fertilization (done through a process referred to as ICSI) and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
If I decide I will not use my frozen eggs or no longer need them, can I donate them to another aspiring parent?