Your chances of a successful pregnancy using eggs that were frozen depend on the skill of the embryologist performing the freezing or vitrification. At NOVA IVF in Mountain View, California, Richard Schmidt, MD, FACOG, and Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, work with embryologists who helped pioneer the vitrification process. The team has perfected egg freezing and uses technology that gives you the best chance of having a baby when you use your eggs in the future. To schedule a consultation and learn more about egg freezing, call the office or book an appointment online.
Egg freezing 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.
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 your eggs and/or cause premature menopause.
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 NOVA IVF or schedule an appointment online.