Egg freezing, technically known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a method of freezing a woman’s eggs in liquid nitrogen, thus preserving her ability to become pregnant in the future.
Why Freeze Your Eggs?
The Top Reasons to Freeze Eggs
For social, personal, and professional reasons, many people choose to delay childbirth. Given egg quality (and thus fertility) declines sharply in the mid to late thirties, egg preservation is a great way to put a freeze on a woman’s biological clock.
Women with cancer requiring chemotherapy and/or pelvic radiation therapy have a high likelihood of it affecting their fertility. Freezing eggs before undergoing treatment is a smart choice.
Hormones taken to undergo a transition will likely leave a person infertile. It’s highly recommended to freeze eggs prior to transitioning if one wishes to maintain their genetic potential.
Some women are at risk of premature ovarian failure due to chromosomal abnormalities (e.g. Turner syndrome, Fragile X syndrome), or a family history of early menopause.
Some surgeries can put a woman’s ovaries at risk of being damaged. Other surgeries are done because a genetic disorder requires the ovaries to be removed.
How It Works
The Egg Freezing Process
Assessment & Consultation
It all starts with a consultation.Most coming from more than a few hour’s drive choose to have their consultation done by phone, Facetime, or Skype. Here we will formulate your individualized egg freezing plan and explain everything you’ll need. If you decide to move forward, we’ll help you get your medications, set up payment (either insurance or out of pocket with financing options), and finalize all the paperwork for you to start your cycle.
You’ll be prescribed hormone injections for roughly 10 days. The medications will stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one menstrual cycle, instead of just the one egg produced in a typical cycle.To ensure your body is responding well to the medications, you’ll need to have a number of office visits for transvaginal ultrasounds and blood work, typically 3-5. Your healthcare team will use this information to refine your protocol and treatment protocol and schedule. These monitoring appointments can be done at one of our offices or at a local clinic capable of fertility monitoring for those traveling from out of town.
An Egg Retrieval is a short 5-15-minute surgical procedure in which your fertility doctor uses a small needle to drain the ovarian follicles of their fluid (which contains your mature eggs). During the egg retrieval, you’ll be under light sedation and monitored by an anesthesiologist, so it won’t hurt. The needle is passed through your vaginal wall without any cuts or stitches so recovery time is usually minimal. While we recommend resting, many are capable of returning to work the following day.
Immediately following your retrieval, your follicular fluid will be taken to our embryology lab to search for and isolate your eggs in preparation for freezing.
Freezing the Eggs
At CNY, we only use the best technology. That means we use a flash-freezing technique called vitrification which dehydrates and freezes the eggs instantaneously providing the best survival rate upon thawing.
Your eggs are frozen in our state-of-the-art embryology lab located mere steps from our operating rooms.After being frozen, the eggs are moved into our in-house long term storage tanks and are available for your use whenever you’re ready.
If you have a partner, freezing your embryos is another great option for preserving your future fertility together.
Split Cycle Freezing
Split cycle freezing is another option as it gives a woman the potential benefit of slightly higher odds at a live birth using a frozen embryo while keeping half of the eggs unfertilized in case a partner is found later in life. In most cases, the eggs that are fertilized are done so using donor sperm.
Ovarian Tissue Freezing
Freezing ovarian tissue is an experimental procedure whereby ovarian tissue is biopsied, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and theoretically reattached to the ovaries or near the fallopian tubes at a later time in hopes of helping restore a woman’s natural fertility.