Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a technique used to harvest eggs from your ovaries which are then stored for future use. If egg freezing fits your goals and lifestyle, your doctor can help you determine if this option is right for you and discuss the potential risks associated with this egg preservation process.
Considerations for Freezing Your Eggs
There are several reasons why you would consider freezing your eggs. Here are some examples of why women do so:
- You're currently undergoing cancer treatments or are going through a similar situation that will decrease your future fertility potential.
- You’re not ready to have children but would like the option to use your eggs in the future.
- You’re currently undergoing In Vitro Fertilization and would prefer egg freezing to embryo freezing due to religious or personal reasons.
The Egg Preservation Process
If freezing eggs is an option you or your partner would like to consider, the three main steps below are what can be expected from this process:
- Your doctor will require you or your partner to take medications orally to stimulate egg development and self-administer injections to mitigate premature ovulation. This process is also known as ovarian stimulation.
Note: Your doctor will ask you or your partner to take part in frequent monitoring, which includes vaginal ultrasounds and blood work.
- Your doctor will then ask you or your partner to undergo a procedure that harvests the eggs, called egg retrieval.
Note: The procedure is conducted under sedation and you may feel some discomfort such as cramps or feel pressure for the next couple of weeks from enlarged ovaries.
- Once the unfertilized eggs are harvested, they are then frozen to preserve them for your future until you are ready to go through with a pregnancy.
Note: Our practice uses vitrification to freeze your eggs (a faster and more commonly used procedure)
If you freeze your eggs at an older age, the risks of miscarriages will increase.
Research to date has yet to discover the successes of pregnancies established from frozen eggs compared to frozen embryos. Therefore, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine still considers egg freezing to be experimental and requires practices to perform this procedure under the auspices of an investigational protocol.
Costs Associated with Egg Freezing at PFCLA
In addition to reproductive services, you have access to a wide range of other services, such as insurance referral and financial planning. As part of our fertility preservation payment option, you have the opportunity to use egg freezing for up to three cycles.
Learn more about the associated costs with egg freezing by visiting our page on treatment costs.
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Options to Consider After Freezing Your Eggs
When you’re ready for pregnancy, your doctor will sit down with you to discuss options you can consider for conception. Below are some of the services you can consider after egg freezing.