What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing has become more popular as generations of women are waiting until later in life to start their family. This technology is a way to take control of your biological clock and preserve your eggs at their most optimal state for when you are ready to grow your family. This can be done through an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cycle where injectable medications are given to stimulate egg follicles to produce the maximum amount of eggs are cryopreserved in one cycle. The eggs are stored in tanks with liquid nitrogen and can remain frozen for years to come.
- Consultation: Schedule your consultation with a fertility specialist and complete the recommended testing to ensure that egg freezing is right for you.
- Medications: Injectable medications are given throughout an approximate 7 to 12 day period to stimulate egg follicle growth.
- Cycle monitoring: During the stimulation phase of your cycle, you will visit your fertility practice for ultrasounds and blood work so that they can closely monitor how your body is responding the medications and adjust dosage as needed.
- Trigger shot: When your follicles have reached appropriate measurements, you will be instructed to administer a ‘trigger’ shot to signal to your follicles that it is time to release the mature eggs. This is timed precisely with your egg retrieval.
- Egg retrieval: Under light anesthesia in the office, eggs are aspirated through an ultrasound guided needle. The procedure takes roughly 20-30 minutes. You are able to resume normal activity on the following day.
- Cryopreservation: Eggs are then carefully frozen by skilled embryologists and stored onsite.
Who is an egg freezing candidate?
Any woman who wishes to safely delay pregnancy is a candidate for egg freezing. There are also tests that your fertility specialist will order to ensure that egg freezing is right for you and that your treatment cycle will yield good results.
The most common egg freezing patients include:
- Single women
- Women who are postponing pregnancy for personal, or career reasons
- Individuals with cancer, who wish to preserve their fertility prior to undergoing cancer treatments that may be harmful to egg quality
How do women conceive a pregnancy when they are ready?
In order to conceive a pregnancy, the cryopreserved eggs are thawed and fertilized with sperm to create an embryo. Women undergo a treatment cycle where medications are used to prepare your uterus for implantation of the embryo. Once the uterine lining has reached the appropriate thickness, your embryo transfer is scheduled. An embryo is ready for transfer when the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage (typically on day 5 of fertilization). The embryo can then be transferred to your uterus to achieve pregnancy.
Is egg freezing expensive?
Egg freezing is considered an elective procedure by most insurance companies, so most women who are pursuing this treatment are paying out of pocket. At South Jersey Fertility Center, we offer competitive rates for egg freezing and affordable storage fees.
Schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified physicians to begin your egg freezing journey.