Not yet sure if you’ll want to start a family? Egg freezing can give you the option to take control of your fertility and choose the right moment to become a parent.
When is the right time to freeze your eggs?
The best time to freeze your eggs is between your 20s and early 30s, while your eggs are still at their optimal health. Freezing your eggs after the age of 30 can still be immensely beneficial. Simply put, the earlier you start the process, the greater your chances of a successful pregnancy later on.
Wondering about egg freezing for medical reasons? We can help guide you through urgent fertility preservation options and concerns.
Why freeze your eggs?
There are many reasons, both personal and medical, why you might consider elective egg freezing. Here are 3 reasons or fertility factors to consider from a scientific perspective.
Everyone deserves to create the future they want. For some, that involves having the time to decide whether or not kids are in your future. Here are 3 good-to-know fertility-impacting factors that might help you determine if egg freezing is the right choice for you.
Egg age & health
Leading a healthy lifestyle and conceiving at a younger age can considerably improve your chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. Research also shows that freezing your eggs earlier on can help lock in your fertility potential for conceiving later on.
As we age, egg quality declines. Chromosomal abnormalities also become more frequent. But by freezing your eggs at an age when egg quality is typically higher, you can access your own healthier eggs if you decide to conceive later on in your life.
Women are born with a set amount of eggs with ovarian reserves decreasing over time. Freezing your eggs at an age when your ovarian reserves are higher can yield a higher amount of eggs as well as give you an idea of your current egg count.
How the egg freezing process works
Here’s what to expect when you decide to freeze your eggs:
At the initial consultation, we’ll discuss your family goals and explain all your options. During this session, we may also recommend further fertility assessments to determine your fertility potential, which can include blood work or a transvaginal ultrasound. Come prepared with any questions and concerns.
If after the assessments you and your doctor determine that egg freezing is the right solution for you, your doctor will schedule an orientation appointment with the clinical team for you to start the process.
If you or your doctor decide that egg freezing is not appropriate for you or your situation, we can explore alternative options that might be more appropriate (i.e., egg fertilization, embryo freezing, or using donor eggs). We’re here to guide you through this process. This is your chance to ask all about your fertility options.
Upon starting the egg-freezing process, your doctor will initiate controlled ovarian stimulation, a technique used to produce as many mature follicles (each of which contains an egg) through hormonal injections over a course of about 2 weeks. Your doctor will monitor you regularly and adjust treatment if necessary. After your follicles reach mature sizes, you’ll be given a “trigger” hormone to mature the eggs and prepare for egg retrieval about 34-26 hours later.
Following the “trigger” medication to mature the eggs, you’ll undergo a simple and quick, 10-to-20-minute procedure of egg retrieval. Your doctor will use transvaginal ultrasound imaging to aim at the follicles that contain the eggs and then use a thin needle to aspirate the follicle to obtain the egg inside. The procedure is done under local anesthesia with procedural sedation (medications given intravenous to reduce anxiety and control pain). You may feel a bit of soreness afterwards, but should be fine to resume your daily activities the following day. Once the procedure is completed, your doctor will let you know the number of eggs that have been collected and suitable for cryopreservation.
Freezing & storage
After your eggs are retrieved, they’ll immediately be frozen and stored, and can remain so indefinitely. You and your doctor can decide when to remove your eggs from storage.
Using your eggs
When you’re ready to try starting to get pregnant, your eggs will be thawed and fertilized, and you’ll begin the in vitro fertilization process.