Egg freezing is a type of fertility preservation, or infertility prevention, that refers to a process in which a woman’s eggs are removed from her ovaries, frozen, and stored in liquid nitrogen. When you’re ready to have a baby, the eggs are carefully thawed, fertilized in the lab with your partner’s sperm or donor sperm, and implanted into your uterus.
If you already have a partner or know you would like to use donor sperm, you might consider embryo freezing.
Women choose to freeze and store their eggs for a variety of personal and health reasons. You may want to wait to have children and don’t want to worry about the age-related decline in egg quality. If you’re diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency or early menopause, the eggs remaining in your ovaries can be retrieved, frozen, and used for in vitro fertilization in the future.
One of the top reasons women choose egg freezing, however, is to save their eggs before they start chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer. Both treatments can damage eggs and/or cause premature menopause, and oncofertility offers a path to biological parenthood.
Before you have your eggs frozen, you meet with a doctor at NOVA IVF to discuss family planning and undergo a thorough assessment. Your overall probability for a future pregnancy is based on the quality of eggs and the number you freeze. The team develops a plan for the number of eggs you need to freeze to achieve a 50-90% success rate.
After you decide to freeze your eggs, you go through a process that’s similar to in vitro fertilization. You take hormones that stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Over the course of 8-12 days, you have ultrasound and blood tests so your doctor can determine when the eggs are large enough to inject another medication that triggers egg maturation.
Within 35-37 hours after your injection, your doctor retrieves the eggs. Using ultrasound imaging to guide the needle, your doctor at NOVA IVF inserts a thin needle through your vagina and into your ovary, then draws the eggs into the needle.
The eggs are analyzed for maturity and all mature eggs are frozen within several hours. The team at NOVA IVF uses an ultra-rapid freezing process that helps avoid cryoinjury and safely preserves the egg.
If you’d like to explore egg freezing, call us or schedule an appointment online.