Egg freezing is a procedure of freezing your eggs to preserve your fertility and help you have babies in the future. It was first pioneered in the 1980s. The procedure involves extracting your oocytes or eggs, freezing, and storing them. If you want to preserve your fertility, you can opt for egg freezing with Sher Fertility Solutions. They offer egg-freezing solutions to women who plan to have a baby later in life, professionals and athletes who have other goals to accomplish before parenthood, and people with medical conditions who need the help of a gestational carrier to have babies.
How Does Egg Freezing Work?
Below is a brief explanation of how egg freezing works:
The preparatory process for egg freezing takes about two weeks. It is called Ovarian Stimulation. The doctor will inject you with fertility medications daily for 10-12 days to stimulate your ovaries. They will give you injectable hormones called Gonadotropins to induce egg production. This medication may also be used with luteinizing hormone. This aids superovulation, where your ovaries will produce multiple mature eggs. The brain’s pituitary gland secretes these hormones in a fertile woman during the menstrual cycle when the egg is released. However, during the egg-freezing process, these hormones are used in larger quantities to aid the release of many eggs. Your doctor will continue monitoring you through blood tests.
Your estrogen levels could increase as your follicles develop, and progesterone levels may remain low till after ovulation. Your doctor may also conduct vaginal ultrasounds to monitor the development of fluid-filled sacs where the eggs mature during your follow-up visits. Usually, the follicles will be ready for egg retrieval after 10-14 days.
Your doctor will sedate you to retrieve the eggs. They may use a transvaginal ultrasound to locate the mature eggs on your ovaries. They will then extract as many eggs as possible by inserting a large needle through the vagina. You may experience some pelvic discomfort after the procedure. You may also feel pressure in your stomach for a few weeks till the ovaries remain enlarged.
After the Procedure
Once harvested, the eggs are supercooled to -385 degrees Fahrenheit. They are placed in a cryopreservation tank and chilled with liquid nitrogen. The eggs are kept healthy by preventing ice crystals from forming inside, as these crystals can damage their structure. Technicians will use many antifreeze cryoprotectant solutions to replace the egg cell’s natural liquid and keep the egg intact. This process is called vitrification. Usually, a fertilized egg or embryo has a higher chance of pregnancy than an unfertilized egg.
You will be able to resume your routine activities within a week of your egg retrieval. However, you should not have unprotected sex to prevent any unintended pregnancy. Typically, you may not experience any adverse side effects after the procedure. However, you may contact your healthcare provider if you notice the following:
- A fever with temperatures more than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Severe stomach pain
- Sudden weight gain of more than two pounds within 24 hours
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Problem urinating
Whenever you want babies, your eggs will be thawed, fertilized with sperm in a lab, and implanted in your or your carrier’s uterus.
The chances of you getting pregnant from egg-freezing are approximately 30-60%. The success rate depends on how old you were when your eggs were frozen. The older your age at the time of freezing, the lesser the chances of you getting pregnant.
How to Prepare for Egg Freezing
If you want to freeze your eggs, you should look for a fertility clinic specializing in the field. Before the egg-freezing process, you will have to undergo a few blood screening tests and procedures like:
Ovarian Reserve Testing
This procedure determines the quality and quantity of your eggs. Your doctor may test to determine the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol in your blood on the third day of your menstrual cycle. The results of these tests will help you understand how your ovaries will respond to fertility medication. The doctor may conduct further blood tests and an ultrasound to get a clearer picture of your ovarian function.
Infectious Disease Screening
You will also be tested for infectious diseases like Hepatitis B, C, and HIV to prevent any complications in the future.
These test results will determine if you qualify for egg freezing or not.
As you grow older, the chances of you getting pregnant become lower. Also, pregnancy at an older age comes with several risks like chromosomal abnormalities, congenital disabilities and disorders, and difficulty conceiving. Egg freezing can help you expand your reproductive options and gives you hope for a healthy pregnancy and babies later in life.