Things to Know Before Freezing Your Eggs – Is Egg Freezing Right for Me?
Having one’s eggs preserved entails more careful planning than most people probably think. Before you decide to go to a fertility treatment center Scottsdale, for example, it won’t hurt to take the time to learn more about what you should expect before, during, and after this all-around benign procedure.
What does it mean to “freeze” one’s eggs exactly? And what are the normal reasons why women choose to do it? Is it really a magic bullet for fertility? This piece answers these fundamental questions then proceeds to give an overview of the top egg preservation facts. Once you take the time to read this in full, you will surely know whether egg freezing is right for you or not.
Egg Preservation Explained in Brief
Egg preservation (aka oocyte cryopreservation in medical terms) involves extracting, freezing and storing a woman’s eggs. Prior to extraction, ovarian assesses factors such as the woman’s overall health and the number of oocytes that can be extracted. Afterward, the woman undergoes ovarian stimulation via the injection of hormonal medications. The clinic monitors the eggs through regular ultrasound tests to check their development.
The eggs are then gathered and examined for maturity. Take note that there is a chance for some of the eggs to die during the freezing process. They may not freeze properly. Normally, clinics only preserve mature eggs. And they do this using vitrification, which subjects the eggs to rapidly cooling liquid nitrogen for optimal storage.
Common Reasons Why Women Choose Egg Freezing
- They want to delay childbearing for various personal reasons.
- Medical conditions like cancer, ovarian disease, and entering menopause too soon threaten their fertility.
- Surgery needs to be performed on the ovaries, which has an inherent risk of damaging the said organ.
- A genetic BRCA mutation makes it necessary to have their ovaries removed.
What to Expect After Egg Preservation?
The entire process of egg preservation involves numerous steps that ensure successful egg stimulation, extraction, and storage. But each step is relatively quick, smooth and painless. These already include diagnostic procedures to verify overall health through blood and ultrasound tests before retrieval.
If you happen to decide to undergo the procedure in an egg preservation fertility Arizona clinic, your eggs would be kept in there for as long as they are not used. Once you decide to use them to achieve pregnancy, they will be fertilized using a procedure called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), wherein a sperm will be injected into the egg. Eggs that get fertilized will eventually develop into embryos. At a certain point, these embryos achieve enough development to be ready for transfer into the woman’s uterus to induce pregnancy.
Essential Egg Preservation Facts You Should Know
Now that you know the gist of the egg freezing process, here are a number of facts that you definitely have to learn about it. Plenty of these facts stem from research and statistics regarding women who undergo egg preservation as a whole.
- The younger the woman is, the better.
Considering the almost always higher quality of eggs available for younger women (ideally those in their 20s, this certainly rings true. High-quality eggs translate to higher chances of a successful live birth. This already takes into consideration the age of the woman when she chose to have her eggs frozen.
This is also why the eggs of a woman that were frozen when she was 30 years old will infinitely be better than “fresh” eggs she produces at her current age of 40.
- Storing the eggs for a long time does not reduce their quality.
The best fertility treatment center Scottsdale will definitely be quick to bust the myth that eggs subject to lengthy freezing will lose their quality. Plenty of healthy babies have been conceived even if the eggs used have passed a decade of storage.
And, no, using frozen eggs does not raise the risk of the baby having genetic defects after birth. Likewise, women do not need to fear having pregnancy complications should they choose to use frozen eggs.
- You can have your eggs stored for as long as you like in most US clinics.
This serves as a glaring exception to current UK policies where the limit for storing eggs is only 10 years. Women in the US enjoy better egg preservation privileges with this consideration. However, this still largely depends on the policies of each clinic.
- Live birth chances hover between a low 2 to 12% only on average.
Health experts dissuade women from considering egg preservation as a lifetime fertility “insurance” because of this. Similarly, this fact also highlights the importance of being able to harvest plenty of healthy eggs from the start.
Factors that affect the chances include the possibility of the egg not thawing properly or fail to reach enough development that will make implantation viable.
However, keep in mind that no two clinics or fertility center is ever alike. Researchers who gather live birth data from various clinics willing to provide them can attest to this fact. Most of the time, their studies concentrate on live birth data by age, and it definitely shows the discrepancy.
- You need to set a dedicated budget for it.
Egg preservation is never a one-time deal, as far as cost is concerned. For one, besides paying annual storage costs, you may also need to undergo regular egg freezing procedures.
Not all women manage to produce the required number of eggs from a single procedure. Usually, clinics aim for 15 healthy eggs to boost pregnancy success chances.
We hope that you find the information we shared will greatly help you in your decision. Undergoing egg preservation only ever becomes a challenge if you go through it largely unprepared. Taking the time to learn more about it will certainly spare you from future issues. Think of it as already getting pregnant, for it will certainly require you to be just as mentally, emotionally, physically and financially prepared once you decide to opt for it.