April 14, 2015

Top 10 Most Common Questions Asked When Considering Egg Freezing

egg freezing questions

Considering freezing your eggs but don’t know where to start? Here are the top 10 most common questions asked when considering egg freezing:

1. What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, involves stimulating, extracting, freezing, and storing your eggs (oocytes). Months or years later, when you are ready to pursue pregnancy, your eggs can be thawed and fertilized with sperm in order to create embryos. An embryo can then be transferred into your uterus in the hope of achieving a healthy, successful pregnancy.

2. Do I have to stop taking birth control?

The birth control pill is typically used in preparation for an egg freezing cycle. Once you are ready to begin treatment, you will stop the birth control pill just for the actual cycle in which you freeze your eggs.

3. What is the process for freezing my eggs?

The process begins with hormonal injections that will stimulate your ovaries to grow multiple eggs at the same time. For about a week and a half, we will monitor your body’s response to stimulation through blood tests and ultrasounds every few days. Once the eggs look “ready” based on hormone levels and ultrasound findings, they are then extracted under anesthesia (through a very brief outpatient procedure).

4. What is the ideal age to freeze my eggs?

In general, eggs from women under age 35 have the highest probability of ultimately resulting in a healthy pregnancy. That being said, many women did not have the opportunity to freeze eggs prior to age 35, and we would still encourage anyone 40 and under to schedule a consultation to discuss the process. Through a consultation and some preliminary testing, we can help to determine an individual woman’s probability of success with this technology.

5. How long does the process take?

Some preliminary tests are required (blood work and ultrasound). Once the testing is done, the process takes about two weeks–starting with the injections and ending with the egg retrieval.

6. How many eggs do I need to freeze?

There is no set number that will guarantee a successful pregnancy in the future. If a woman under 35 years of age is able to freeze at least 6 to 8 eggs, then there is good chance that a healthy pregnancy could result from that group of eggs. If feasible, freezing 10-20 eggs would further increase the probability of success.

 7. How long can my eggs remain frozen?

Eggs, like sperm and embryos, can remain frozen for many years.

 8. Is egg freezing safe?

Based on the medical information we have to date, egg freezing is thought to be quite safe and has not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, or pregnancy complications compared to pregnancies derived from fresh eggs.

9. What are the success rates associated with egg freezing?

Currently, in experienced IVF laboratories, pregnancy rates from frozen eggs approach pregnancy rates from fresh eggs. We are very proud of our egg freezing success at Fertility Centers of New England. We have been freezing eggs since 2008 with subsequent pregnancy rates approaching 50-60% in good prognosis patients.

10. What is the cost of egg freezing?

At $5,000 per cycle, we offer the most cost-competitive program in New England. For more information about fertility preservation or fertility in general, please contact us today!

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Beth Plante, M.D.

Beth Plante, M.D. Board-Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility