Egg freezing is a process that preserves a woman’s ability to get pregnant in the future. It provides many women an alternative for conceiving a child. On a basic level, it involves retrieving mature eggs from a woman’s uterus and storing them for later use. In the future, the frozen egg can be fertilized and implanted in the woman’s uterus via in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Who might consider egg freezing?
Any woman whose body is still producing eggs can opt to freeze their eggs. Some women may choose to preserve their eggs for personal or professional reasons. They might want to focus on excelling in their careers now but still maintain their ability to have kids in the future. Egg freezing enables women to store eggs while they are in their most fertile stage in life.
However, egg freezing can be especially helpful for women in certain situations, such as women who have a health condition that impacts their fertility. These might include endometriosis, lupus, PCOS, and others. Women undergoing intense medical procedures that affect their fertility, like cancer treatment, also may opt for egg freezing.
What is the best age to freeze your eggs?
While egg freezing can be done at any age, as long as the woman is still producing eggs, we recommend that women be between the ages of 21 and 38 for the highest chance of success at pregnancy in the future. Many women choosing to freeze their eggs tend to be in their 30s.
Before deciding to freeze, you should reflect on your life goals and financial situation and discuss issues related to reproductive wellness with your physician. Freezing your eggs can be a more involved process than you might think and it should not be decided purely on a whim.
What does the egg freezing process involve?
The egg freezing process is intensive. Before the process begins, the woman undergoes several tests including blood tests, ultrasounds, and ovarian reserve testing to determine the quantity and quality of the eggs.
After testing, egg harvesting begins, which requires the woman to take hormonal medications up to two times a day to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one ovarian cycle. During this time, the woman will be monitored with ultrasounds and blood tests to track her body’s response to the medication.
When the eggs are mature and ready for retrieval, they will be collected and stored for future use. The whole process can take about 20-30 minutes and may lead to cramping and discomfort.
What are the success rates of pregnancy using a frozen egg?
Due to the vitrification process, a procedure that strengthens the water in the egg without letting ice crystals form, eggs have an increased rate of surviving thawing. For women under the age of 38, the pregnancy rate is about 50%. It is important to remember that egg freezing will not guarantee that you will have a successful pregnancy later on, but it does give you more options later on in life when your natural fertility may have decreased.
Egg freezing may not be right for everyone, but it can provide another opportunity for women looking to be pregnant at a later stage in their life a second chance at having a child. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, we believe in offering solutions that will help people looking to start a family of their own. We have helped people from all walks of life, sexual orientations, beliefs, and cultures experience the joy of raising a child. If you think egg freezing is right for you, give us a call today at 520-326-0001.