Egg freezing 101: preserving future fertility

Apr 06, 2022
Egg freezing 101
Hope to have a baby one day, but know that now is not the time? Whether for personal, career, or medical reasons, it’s not uncommon to postpone parenthood until your late 30s or 40s. But a later start means a lower chance of getting pregnant.

Hope to have a baby one day, but know that now is not the time? 

Whether for personal, career, or medical reasons, it’s not uncommon to postpone parenthood until your late 30s or 40s. But a later start means a lower chance of getting pregnant. Fortunately, egg freezing is a safe, easy, and effective way to preserve your fertility until you’re ready to grow your biological family.

Here’s everything our doctors want you to know about egg freezing.

Egg freezing can buy you time — if it's done early enough.

People often say there’s never a perfect or ‘right’ time to have a baby, but the reality of a woman’s fertility window tells a different story. The ideal time to conceive is when a woman has plenty of healthy eggs available to be fertilized. If that time frame might be in jeopardy for one reason or another, egg freezing can extend fertility in women. 

The sooner you explore fertility preservation, the more likely your options will remain open. 

Ideally, egg freezing is something you want to look into as soon as you get the notion, rather than waiting until your late 30s or early 40s when you’ll have a diminished egg count with a lower chance of obtaining a high number of healthy eggs.. 

There are many good reasons to freeze your eggs.

There are lots of reasons a woman may choose egg freezing for fertility preservation – and some may even surprise you.

Reason #1: You need a medical treatment or surgery that can lower your egg count or damage your eggs.

Some medical treatments are known to reduce egg count or damage remaining eggs. It’s often recommended to patients that they freeze their eggs before undergoing these procedures.

For example, some surgical procedures can reduce egg count, from the removal of ovarian cysts to or surgery for endometriosis. 

You don’t have to be facing a medical condition to opt for egg freezing. Sometimes it’s simply a personal choice to do things on your own time, not when your biological clock demands it.

Reason #2: You’re not ready for a baby yet.

Many women choose egg freezing for the purpose of keeping their options open. Maybe you want to delay growing your family because you haven’t found the right partner yet, because your career is thriving, or because you’re just not ready for the responsibilities of child-rearing. 

Thanks to advances in cryopreservation technology, you’re no longer beholden to biology for such an important decision. When you freeze your eggs in your 20s or early 30s, you can always decide to try to have kids later, when you’re ready — or not; it’s up to you. 

This option is particularly important for women who already know they have a low egg count or that their egg count is rapidly declining. 

Even if you’re not ready to be a mom or haven’t decided if motherhood is right for you, it’s a good idea to have your gynecologist check your egg count, with a pelvic ultrasound or AMH level testing — and sooner rather than later.

Cryopreservation is safe and effective.

Egg freezing is proven to be safe and effective. There appears to be no increased risk of birth defects found from freezing eggs, no matter how long they’re stored for. And the process of freezing your eggs does not lower your egg count or send you into early menopause (both are myths). Your ability to get pregnant on your own is not impacted.

Egg freezing 101

Freezing your eggs is easier than you may think.

Egg freezing is relatively simple as far as fertility treatments go! It’s also much faster than many patients expect. From the very first telehealth consultation to the actual egg retrieval, patients can be completely done within one to two months.

Here’s what you can expect:

Step 1: Meet your doctor over Zoom.

We start with a telehealth consultation, which takes place remotely over Zoom or a phone call. You’ll meet with one of our fertility doctors and discuss your medical and reproductive history, and get answers to any questions you have. Next, one of our financial counselors will call to discuss your insurance coverage and costs, and our office staff will schedule your first in-office visit.

Egg freezing 101

Step 2: Test your egg count, and wait for your next period.

During your first in-person clinic appointment, you’ll have your egg count assessed with a pelvic ultrasound and AMH blood test. This helps us know what we’re working with and plan the timing of your treatment. After this appointment, you’ll most likely be able to start the process at your very next period. 

Step 3: Start taking fertility injections to stimulate your ovaries.

With the next period that follows your first clinic visit, you’ll start taking injections to stimulate your ovaries.

Egg freezing 101

Step 4: Come in for your egg retrieval 12-14 days later. 

After 10-12 days of fertility injections, you’re ready for the big day – your egg retrieval! This is an outpatient procedure performed in our facility, and it takes just a few minutes with very little downtime. Most patients go back to their normal lives and activities the next day.

Egg freezing 101

Once your eggs are retrieved, they will be frozen and stored immediately. 

Your frozen eggs are monitored around the clock, with daily physical checks and a variety of protocols and redundancies to minimize any risk of accidental thaw even in the case of a power failure or some other unexpected event.

Is egg freezing in your future?

More women than ever before are choosing to freeze their eggs to keep their options open for the future. But even if egg freezing buys you more time, it’s still important to act quickly, especially if you know or suspect you may already have a low egg count. 

Egg freezing 101

In just a few weeks, you could be on your way to preserving your options for years to come.

It’s easy to begin your journey, and we’re here for you every step of the way. To begin, just schedule a telehealth consultation with one of our doctors. Click below to get started.