Egg freezing allows a woman to preserve her eggs for future use. If you choose to freeze your eggs, you can use them to conceive when the time is right.
Among other reasons, some women choose to freeze their eggs when they are diagnosed with cancer.
Treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can damage egg production and sometimes cause a total loss of fertility. With egg freezing, you can choose to preserve your fertility before beginning treatment.
Who is a candidate and how does it work?
Egg freezing is ideal for women up to age 38 who are not ready to have children but would like to have the option in the future.
Eggs are frozen at the unfertilized stage. This makes egg freezing a good alternative for women who have religious or ethical concerns about freezing embryos (fertilized eggs).
Egg Freezing Process
- Ovarian Stimulation: The procedure used to develop mature eggs typically takes 10-14 days and uses injectable fertility medications. There will be several brief office visits during stimulation for ultrasounds and lab tests.
- Egg Retrieval: Performed under sedation in an outpatient setting. You will usually recover and be able to resume normal activities within 1-2 days.
- Vitrification (freezing) and future use: Mature eggs can be stored until you are ready to use them. When you are ready to become pregnant, your eggs will be thawed and fertilized with sperm through in vitro fertilization. Fertilized eggs are grown in the lab and then placed into your uterus in an attempt to establish a pregnancy.
Sperm freezing allows a man to preserve his sperm for future use.
Among other reasons, some men choose to freeze their eggs when they are diagnosed with cancer.
Treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can damage sperm production and sometimes cause a total loss of fertility. With sperm freezing, you can have the opportunity to father a child after treatment is complete.
Ideally, semen is collected after 2-3 days of abstinence from ejaculation. Private rooms are available on-site for collection.
Couples who wish to delay childbearing may consider embryo freezing.
First, a woman must undergo ovarian stimulation with injectable fertility medications. Next, eggs are retrieved – a process that is performed under sedation. Mature eggs are then fertilized with sperm.
Embryos are grown to the blastocyst stage (100-200 cells) in the lab, and then frozen and stored.
When you are ready for pregnancy, the embryos are thawed and transferred to the uterus.