Preserving Your Options
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is the process in which eggs are harvested, frozen and stored for later use. As women age, fertility levels naturally decline. Egg freezing allows women to preserve their fertility by delaying conception.
Egg Freezing Seminar with Dr. Matrika Johnson | August 12, 2021 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
How Does Egg Freezing Work?
Egg freezing consists of retrieving, freezing and then safely storing a woman’s eggs for use at a later point. Retrieved eggs are unfertilized prior to freezing. The egg freezing cycle normally takes 11 to 15 days or 2 weeks. For some patients, additional cycles may be needed.
Once a woman decides she is ready to use her frozen eggs, frozen eggs are thawed, fertilized with sperm in a lab and implanted into the uterus. This process is called in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Egg Freezing: The Steps
Normally, a woman produces one egg during her monthly menstrual cycle. Prior to egg freezing, the patient takes injectable fertility medication that stimulates the ovaries so they produce multiple eggs.
RETRIEVAL OF EGGS
When eggs are ready, a trigger injection is provided to mature the eggs. To retrieve the eggs, an outpatient procedure is performed. Through transvaginal ultrasound guidance, the physician can view the follicles on the patient’s ovary that contain the eggs and safely remove the fluid they contain.
Once the unfertilized eggs are harvested, they are cooled to subzero temperatures and preserved.
AFTER THE PROCEDURE
Patients may experience some cramping following the procedure as the ovaries will still be enlarged. Within a day or so, most patients can continue their normal activities.
Using Your Eggs
When you decide that the time is right to start your family, your frozen eggs will be thawed, injected with sperm to be fertilized within a lab and implanted into your or a gestational carrier’s uterus.
About 30 to 60 percent of women become pregnant after implantation. The success rate largely depends on age at the time of oocyte cryopreservation. The younger women are at the time of egg freezing, the higher the chances for full-term pregnancy and birth.