Considering Freezing Your Eggs? Here are the Facts
Egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation involves the extraction of a woman’s eggs (oocytes) from the ovaries, and freezing and storing them for future use. If you are considering egg freezing in Encino to defer when you become a parent, it is essential to have some facts. Below is an overview of cryopreservation.
Am I the Right Candidate for Cryopreservation?
Cryopreservation can work for you under the following clinical scenarios:
- Have recently been diagnosed with cancer: If you have had a recent cancer diagnosis, this can be a stumbling block in your quest to give birth. This is due to the harsh chemicals used in chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which can render you infertile. Further, the medication used in cancer management makes it impossible for you to carry a pregnancy to full term.
- If you have premature ovarian failure: If you are experiencing early menopause or premature ovarian failure (POF), cryopreservation can be a viable option to help you become a mother. This condition means that you cannot ovulate past the age of 40, which can make it hard for you to build a family.
- If considering the path to single parenthood: If you have yet to find the right partner or are being held back from making marital commitments due to a career, cryopreservation can work for you. You can choose your sperm donor and have your egg fertilized to create an embryo, which can be frozen until the right time you wish to become a parent.
- If you have genetic mutations including BRCA that may necessitate the removal of your ovaries.
- Want to delay childbearing as you pursue other interests in life such as education.
The Process of Egg Freezing
Consult your fertility specialist if you are considering having your egg(s) frozen. During the consultation, your doctor at California Center for Reproductive Health will perform a hormone lab and a pelvic ultrasound to assess your ovarian reserve. This helps give an estimate of the egg yield from a single banking cycle. Your doctor will administer medication through injection to help stimulate your ovaries to produce mature oocytes 10 days before the egg is harvested. Blood tests will also be used to provide information about the maturity of your oocytes.
During egg harvesting, you will be placed under light anesthesia, while your doctor performs a vaginal ultrasound to collect follicular fluid. An embryologist will then use a high-power microscope to identify viable eggs from the collected follicular fluid. Mature eggs are then cryopreserved using liquid nitrogen freezing.
Your eggs can be preserved for years, and their viability upon being thawed is 90%. When you are ready to conceive, your embryologist will thaw your egg and then inject sperm into it for fertilization. This fertilization process is known as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). After the fertilized egg has been cultured into an embryo, it is transferred into your uterus to develop through pregnancy.
If you are not ready to become a parent today, there is still hope for you tomorrow. Schedule a consultation with your doctor to learn more about cryopreservation.