Egg freezing allows you to press pause on your fertility.
As a woman ages, unfortunately the quantity and quality of her eggs diminish. While the decline in quality actually starts when women are in their 20s, this process accelerates around age 35 – right as many women are hitting their stride in their professional lives.
By freezing your eggs while they are still young and healthy, you can empower yourself to plan your future fertility your way. The process is safe, relatively quick and rewarding – the chances of your eggs surviving their thaw are very good.
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THE EGG FREEZING PROCESS
Your Initial Consultation
During the initial consultation, your reproductive endocrinologist will review your medical information to learn more about your fertility and overall health. Your ovarian reserve (another way of saying the number of eggs remaining in the ovary) will then be determined with a blood test called AMH and an ultrasound to visualize the ovaries. Both of these are done in our office.
At this visit, your doctor and nursing team will also detail what to expect from the egg freezing process. This will include medication teaching, scheduling, and general tips and tricks of the process.
Preparing for Your Egg Freezing Cycle
Naturally when you ovulate only a single egg is produced. You will be prescribed hormone injections for 8-12 days prior to your egg retrieval in order to stimulate your ovaries to develop multiple eggs during your cycle.
During this time, you’ll need to visit our office several times for ultrasound monitoring and blood tests in order to ensure that you are responding well to the medication.
Your Egg Retrieval
Once your eggs have finished maturing you will be scheduled for an egg retrieval. The egg retrieval process is an outpatient procedure (performed under twilight anesthesia) and typically only takes between 15-20 minutes. During the retrieval, your surgeon will retrieve several eggs from your ovaries with the help of a transvaginal ultrasound.
Immediately after the retrieval, your eggs will be “frozen.”
EGG FREEZING FAQS
We’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions about egg freezing below. If there is something that hasn’t been answered, please give our office a call or send us an e-mail and a member from our team will be able to assist you.
While many fertility clinics offer egg freezing, few have significant experience in thawing eggs when you actually need them. Pioneering researchers from the IVI-RMA network recently published the world’s largest experience of warming previously frozen eggs. In this study, the authors followed 1,468 women who froze their eggs for non-medical reasons. Among those who returned to warm them for use in IVF, 85% survived. Survival was even better (95%) for women who froze their eggs when they were 35 or younger.
Multiple studies examining the downstream health outcomes of patients who used the medications needed in an egg freezing cycle have shown little to no risk.
Breakthrough research from the IVI-RMA network showed that the risk of genetic problems in embryos created from frozen eggs was not increased over eggs that hadn’t been frozen. This and other research suggests that babies born following egg freezing are not at increased risk.
Live births have occurred from eggs that were frozen for more than 10 years. The longest duration of storage that led to a successful thaw is actually 14 years after egg freezing. But, in reality, the duration that eggs can be safely stored is likely longer. This is because the process by which eggs are frozen in contemporary embryology labs (called vitrification) produces higher survival rates than older methods.
At RMA of Northern California, egg freezing costs $7,999 plus $400 for an initial consultation and $600 for each year of storage.
RMA of Northern California is in network with most major insurance plans that offer coverage for fertility benefits.
Financing options are available through Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California and other third party financing companies. We offer free financial consultations to all of our patients to ensure that all of your financing questions are answered.