30 Jun 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Freezing Your Eggs
Egg freezing is not only a trending topic — but also an innovative technology in the field of assisted reproduction. For women who want to become pregnant at a later point in their life, egg cryopreservation is a way to pause time on the biological clock.
At Fertility Specialists Medical Group (FSMG), we freeze and thaw eggs and fertilize them during reproductive treatment, in vitro fertilization (IVF), when you are ready to build your family.
Our all-female team can help you preserve your fertility now — and provide the support you need when you want to conceive later.
Egg freezing can be considered for a variety of reasons:
- Fertility preservation for personal reasons to delay having a baby (career, relationships, sports)
- Women with cancer requiring chemotherapy or radiation therapy that may affect fertility
- Family history of early menopause
- Risk of premature ovarian failure due to chromosomal abnormalities
- Ovarian disease with risk of damage to the ovaries
- Genetic mutations requiring removing the ovaries
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing is the process of stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, then retrieving and freezing them for future use by suspending the eggs’ biological aging.
The patient will take an ovulation-inducing medication for 10 to 12 days to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs for retrieval. During this time, FSMG will monitor blood levels as well as perform ultrasound monitoring to ensure the appropriate response to the medication is occurring.
The mature eggs are then retrieved, with the woman or transgender man under mild anesthesia. This is an outpatient procedure, which usually lasts a total of 30 minutes. Eggs are then flash-frozen through a process known as vitrification. The eggs are bathed in a cryoprotectant and rapidly cooled in liquid nitrogen. This process suspends biological activity until the eggs are thawed.
5 Things to Keep in Mind Before Freezing Your Eggs
- Don’t hesitate and wait. Fertility experts at FSMG will tell you — the younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the greater your odds of conceiving. According to the ASRM, egg freezing works best for women in their 20s and 30s. When you wait until your 30s or early 40s, it may not be as ideal. The quality of your eggs is not as elevated as when you’re younger, which means you might have to do more cycles to improve your chances of having a good egg.
- Experience Matters. If you are thinking about freezing your eggs, FSMG has over 30 years of combined experience with egg cryopreservation. By combining the most advanced assisted reproductive technology with compassionate patient care, we are committed to providing the best experience for our patients – no matter the challenge or prognosis, we seek to provide unique, tailored, quality care.
- Pregnancy Is Not Guaranteed. The number of eggs that can be retrieved and the quality of those eggs decreases with age. However, even with younger individuals, egg freezing is not a guarantee. While freezing eggs at a younger age could ensure a higher quantity and quality, delaying attempts to conceive with those eggs may lower the chances of conception.
- Risk Involved with Egg Freezing. The surgical egg retrieval procedure is low risk. The egg retrieval process takes less than 30 minutes and is performed under mild anesthesia or sedation. Using an ultrasound, our fertility specialist guides a needle to the ovarian follicle, which contains the egg. A suction device on the needle removes the eggs from the follicles. It’s important to note that everyone’s body is different. Medication used to increase egg production can result in a risk called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a rare complication of ovarian stimulation medication.
- Cryopreservation. While there is limited information on the impact of long-term cryopreservation on the chances of success, research asserts frozen eggs being viable for up to ten years as long as the freezing conditions remain consistent and optimal.