8 Top Questions About Egg Freezing
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Some women experience stress and anxiety regarding infertility when they plan to delay motherhood. Every woman is different – some experience difficulty achieving pregnancy while others do not, regardless of age or circumstance. Unfortunately, ovarian reserve declines with age, making the chance of fertility issues higher over time. Freezing your eggs at a younger age allows women to conceive later and also have the health benefits, which include decreased miscarriage and Down syndrome rates, for using younger eggs.
1- Who should consider egg freezing?
Egg freezing can be beneficial for a number of reasons for women wishing to preserve their fertility for the future including:
– Women who want or need to delay childbearing in order to pursue an education, career or other personal goals. Because fertility is known to decline with age, freezing your eggs at an early reproductive age will best ensure your chance for a future pregnancy.
– Women diagnosed with cancer: Egg freezing offers a chance to preserve eggs prior to chemotherapy, surgery or radiation.
Women with a family history of early menopause. Some forms of early menopause (premature ovarian failure) are genetically-linked. Egg freezing offers a chance to preserve eggs before they are all depleted.
2- When should I freeze my eggs?
The answer is to pursue egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, in the prime reproductive years the 20s and early 30s to take advantage of premium egg quality and quantity.
Basic fertility testing, including antral follicle counts, hormone and AMH blood testing, assesses your ovarian reserve.
3- What does the egg freezing process involve?
Because freezing more eggs means a higher chance of pregnancy later, the egg freezing process uses hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one menstrual cycle, instead of the single egg they would typically produce. Typically, women take these hormone injections for 8–11 days while being closely monitored by their doctor.
The process ends with a brief, outpatient surgical procedure, performed under mild anesthesia, to retrieve the eggs from the ovaries. Then they’re immediately taken to a special embryology lab, where they’re prepped and “vitrified,” or flash-frozen. The whole process, known as a cycle, takes about two weeks and requires one day off from work (for the egg retrieval).
4-What will happen when I want to use my eggs?
Frozen eggs must be thawed in a lab and fertilized in a process known as in vitro fertilization, which creates embryos that can then be transferred back into your uterus.
5- How many eggs should I store to achieve a pregnancy?
There isn’t a general answer to this question—it depends not only on your age, but also on your family and future goals. Because egg quality declines with age, the number of eggs you need to freeze for a high chance at pregnancy is higher for women who choose to freeze their eggs at later ages.
For women under 30, the doctors recommend freezing at least 12 eggs. Women typically ovulate one egg each month, representing one chance at a possible pregnancy—so 12 eggs represent about a year’s worth of fertility. Because of the majority of women under 30 are able to get pregnant within a year, freezing 12 eggs give those women a 65–85% chance of motherhood.
Due to a women’s age, there’s a lower chance of each individual egg being normal, the fertility experts recommend freezing more eggs to achieve that same chance of pregnancy later on. For women 31–35, they recommend freezing 12–24 eggs.
6- Can I still work?
With the exception of your monitoring appointments, which will occur every day or every other day for roughly two weeks, your work life will be uninterrupted. If you undergo a retrieval during the week, you will need to take off one day of work for the procedure. The precise timing of egg retrieval is based on follicle development.
7- What are the risks of egg freezing treatment?
The treatment is safe and effective with minimal risks. Side effects from the medications given during an egg freezing cycle may include bloating, headache, and breast tenderness. For most patients these side effects are reversible. Mild discomforts vary from women to women, but the main potential side effect of hormone therapy is Ovarian Hyperstimulation
8- Is egg freezing safe?
Based on the medical information, egg freezing is thought to be quite safe and has not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, or pregnancy complications compared to pregnancies derived from fresh eggs.