How Does Egg Freezing Work?
If you are looking for ways to preserve your future ability to become pregnant, especially as you age, egg freezing (cryopreservation of mature oocytes) may be for you.
In the cryopreservation process, your eggs are cooled to sub-zero temperatures to stop all biological activity, making them viable for your use in the future.
Cryopreservation occurs with a process known as “vitrification”. This procedure involves the use of high concentrations of cyroprotectants, providing rapid cooling to achieve the best protection of your eggs. Vitrification allows for the cell to be preserved into a glass-like state without the damaging formation of ice crystals.
Why Freeze My Eggs
You may consider egg freezing if you find yourself in one of these circumstances:
- Desire to save your eggs for future pregnancy or IVF treatment
- Experiencing a disease or condition potentially affecting fertility
- Undergoing treatment for cancer or other condition which may damage your eggs, possibly interfering with future pregnancy
- Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and prefer egg freezing to embryo freezing
Are My Chances Of a Normal Pregnancy the Same as with Fresh Eggs?
Good evidence exists that frozen (vitrified) and thawed eggs, when used in conjunction with IVF/ICSI for young women, have similar pregnancy rates as in fresh, non-frozen ones. Additionally there has been no evidence to date that this vitrification process increases the risks of chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects or developmental deficits for your baby.
The good news is that you now have options!
If you choose to consider this path, your egg freezing is performed in “cycles,” each taking around 2 weeks from the day of ovarian stimulation until egg retrieval.