There are many different reasons why women contemplate freezing their eggs. Whether you want to pursue educational or career goals, you have a current medical issue, or you are simply not ready to have children right now, all of these are valid reasons to consider Oocyte Cryopreservation, or egg freezing. Before you jump into the procedure, it’s crucial that you do your research so you know exactly what to expect during your visit with a fertility specialist. Learn all about the egg freezing process below.
Initial Assessment and Tests for Egg Freezing
During your initial consultation, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your medical history, current medications or supplements, and other relevant information. In addition, various tests will be necessary to assess the age of your eggs and how fertile they are. You should expect blood tests, an ultrasound and a screening to ensure your body and your eggs are healthy for this process.
Stimulation of Your Ovaries
The next part of the process is stimulation. At the beginning of your menstrual cycle, you will be prescribed fertility medications. Typically, your body develops a single egg each month, but these medications will help stimulate the growth of multiple egg follicles in your ovaries. During your treatment, you will be monitored with ultrasounds and lab tests to assess the growth of your egg follicles. During this time, it is normal to see estrogen levels increase and progesterone levels remain low until after ovulation. After about 8 to 14 days, the follicles will be ready for egg retrieval.
To retrieve your eggs, you will be put under sedation. The most common approach is called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. During this procedure, an ultrasound probe is used to identify the follicles. Then a needle is guided through the vagina and into a follicle. A suction device is then used to remove the egg from the follicle. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes to retrieve multiple eggs from your follicles. After this procedure is complete, you may experience some side effects such as cramping, which only last a few days. Some women do not experience any side effects after the procedure.
The Egg Freezing Process
Once your unfertilized eggs are harvested, they are cryopreserved (frozen) to preserve them for future use. There is no limit to the amount of time eggs can be frozen. To freeze eggs, we use vitrification. With this method, high concentrations of cryoprotectants are used initially in combination with rapid cooling. This way, ice crystals do not have time to form as the eggs freeze.
After the Egg Freezing Procedure is Complete
You can expect to resume normal activities within a week of your egg retrieval procedure. It’s important to note that unprotected sex should be avoided to help prevent against an unwanted pregnancy.
While mild side effects are normal, it is crucial that you contact your fertility specialist if you experience a fever higher than 101.5 F, severe abdominal pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, or if you are having difficulty urinating.
Egg Freezing in New Jersey
Here at South Jersey Fertility Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve their dream of building a family, whether they would like to start now or in the future. That is why we offer egg freezing at all four of our NJ locations. Not only is our program one of the most successful in South Jersey, but it is one of the most cost-competitive as well. For more information about this procedure or to schedule your initial consultation, visit our website.