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What to Expect From Your Egg Freezing Journey

There are many reasons women choose to freeze their eggs, but they all have one goal in common — to preserve their ability to get pregnant in the future. 

While there are several steps you need to take to successfully safeguard your eggs, the last is arguably the most important — harvesting your eggs.

To increase your chances of a successful outcome, it’s crucial that you choose a team with extensive experience with egg freezing, or mature oocyte cryopreservation. 

Heading up such a team at NOVA IVF are Drs. Meera Shah and Richard Schmidt, who have helped scores of women build the families of their dreams.

To help you better understand what to expect, here’s a detailed look at what happens during the egg freezing process with us.

When it’s time

In order to harvest the highest quality eggs possible, you undergo hormone therapies to stimulate your ovaries. As the hormones go to work, we monitor your egg release using ultrasound and blood tests, which allow us to determine when we can go to the next step.

Once we identify viable eggs, we administer another injection that triggers egg maturation, which means you’re only 35-37 hours away from egg retrieval.

Harvesting your eggs

At your appointed time, you come to our office, and we give you an intravenous sedative to make you comfortable during the retrieval.

When you’re ready, we use a transvaginal ultrasound probe, which we insert into your vagina, to locate the follicles. We then guide a needle into each follicle to gently aspirate your eggs.

The retrieval process generally takes only 30 minutes or so. Once we collect the optimal number of viable eggs, we flash-freeze them using liquid nitrogen in a process called vitrification.

In the meantime, once the sedative has worn off, you’re free to return home, though you should arrange for someone to drive you.

You may experience some discomfort afterward, including cramping, but these side effects are usually short-lived and resolve themselves. It’s important to note that you can still get pregnant after the retrieval because we may not have collected all of your eggs.

You may also experience some lingering effects from the hormones we gave you to regulate ovulation, such as mood swings, but these, too, resolve themselves quickly as your hormone levels balance out.

Why experience matters

We want to make one last point about your egg freezing process. Successful egg harvesting relies on technology, but also the human factor. 

Our team here at NOVA IVF, as our name implies, has vast experience helping women conceive through in vitro fertilization (IVF). And the first half of the IVF process is much the same as egg freezing, except we don’t freeze the eggs after we retrieve them.

What this means for you is that our fertility experts understand how to best collect and preserve your eggs, increasing your chances of a successful outcome down the road.

If you have more questions about the egg freezing process, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Mountain View, California, to set up a consultation.

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