The technical term for egg freezing is mature oocyte preservation. This process is used to preserve fertility and save a woman’s ability to get pregnant in the future.
Why Freeze Your Eggs?
It is becoming more and more common for women to freeze their eggs so that they can start families later in life. The reasons a woman may choose to freeze her eggs may be social, financial, or medical.
You Want to Have Younger Eggs Available in the Future
A woman’s fertility peaks in her 20s and her eggs are healthiest at this point. Having the healthiest possible eggs available when you want to get pregnant increases your chances of conceiving when the time comes. Factors that may lead a woman to consider egg freezing for this reason include:
- You know you want to have children in the future, but you’re not sure when.
- You want to build your career or become more financially stable before having kids.
- You have not found the right partner to co-parent.
You Have Health Concerns
Sometimes health issues get in the way of having children when you are in your peak fertile years. Women who have certain conditions or are going through medical treatments may consider egg freezing so that they can still have biological children. These health concerns include:
- You’re undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer
- You have a condition that affects your fertility more quickly as you age
- Sickle cell anemia
- Past history of ovarian surgery (to remove cysts or tumors)
- You have a family history of early menopause
You Are Donating Your Eggs
If you want to donate your eggs to someone else, you will probably need to go through the egg freezing process. You may have a family member or close friend struggling with fertility and you’ve decided to donate your eggs to them. Or you may be a part of a program where you receive compensation to donate your eggs to someone you don’t know.
The Egg Freezing Process
The egg freezing process is made up of several steps. Before the process begins, you should consult an experienced fertility specialist to make sure that you are a good candidate for egg freezing.
Once you have spoken with our fertility specialist and decided that egg freezing is right for you, you will need to undergo an assessment. You will undergo tests to determine ovarian reserve and ensure you are healthy enough for the process. Tests may include blood tests and ultrasound imaging.
After the assessment, you will be given medications for ovarian stimulation and ovulation induction. These medications will help multiple eggs develop during one cycle and prevent ovulation from occurring before the eggs have matured enough. Our fertility specialist will monitor you during this period, and when the eggs have matured, a retrieval procedure is scheduled.
Egg retrieval is an outpatient procedure done at the fertility clinic. You will be put under light sedation. With ultrasound guidance, a needle is inserted into a follicle and a special suction device removes the egg from the follicle. Multiple eggs may be retrieved during a single procedure.
Examination & Preparation
Our specialist called an embryologist will examine the eggs that were retrieved. They will make sure they are healthy enough for freezing. The eggs that are determined to be healthy, the embryologist uses a special solution called a cryoprotectant to help them survive the freezing process.
The eggs are frozen using liquid nitrogen. The freezing process happens almost instantly.
Preserve Your Fertility With the Team at WVFI
Not all clinics are created equal when it comes to egg freezing. The expert providers at West Virginia Fertility Institute have the experience and expertise to help you preserve your fertility. You can feel more empowered and confident about your reproductive future with the help of the team at WVFI.
Call our office at (304) 345-9292 to schedule a consult.