Egg Freezing

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a technique used to preserve a woman’s eggs so that they can be utilized at a later time. Egg freezing involves harvesting eggs from the female’s ovaries after she has taken medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple follicles. She then undergoes a procedure called a vaginal oocyte retrieval to retrieve the eggs, which are then frozen later that day.

Why Do Women Want to Freeze Their Eggs?

There are several reasons why women may want to freeze their eggs.

  • She has been diagnosed with cancer and the chemotherapy and/or radiation may result in infertility.
  • She has a family history of premature ovarian failure which means she is at risk for her ovaries failing at an early age.
  • She may not be ready to start a family due to career or educational demands.
  • She doesn’t have a partner or isn’t ready to get married.

Women’s fertility declines starting in her 20’s, and after age 35 is when pregnancy rates start to decline more dramatically. This is because both the quality and quantity of eggs declines as women age. As a result, it is highly recommended that women who want to freeze their eggs do so by age 35. However, that doesn’t mean that a woman who is older than 35 can’t freeze her eggs. It just means that she will need to sit down with her doctor to make an informed decision to determine if it is worth pursuing.

Things to Know About Egg Freezing

There are a few things women need to understand in regards to egg freezing:

  • For some women, they may need to do more than one egg freezing cycle to get enough eggs. Research shows that a woman under 35 should freeze at least 15 mature eggs to have an 85% chance of at least one live birth.
  • There is no guarantee that she will ever need to utilize her frozen eggs to get pregnant. She may end up getting pregnant on her own and therefore wasted her time and money.
  • There is no guarantee that freezing your eggs will end up resulting in a live birth.

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