Preserving a woman’s fertility is a major focus of the care provided at Houston Fertility Specialists. In today’s society, the average age at which women are having children is steadily increasing. Since fertility in women begins to decline after the age of 35 (and is very low after 40), delaying childbearing often leads to difficulty conceiving.
Whether you are ready for children now or would like to maximize your chances for pregnancy later, we are here to help. For those of you looking to preserve your most fertile years, egg freezing may be a good fit.
As a leader in egg freezing, Houston Fertility Specialists is committed to preserving a woman’s fertility.
Using cutting-edge technology to achieve high success rates has made egg freezing a safe way to preserve your most fertile years.
FAQs: Egg Freezing
Q. What is egg freezing?
A. Egg freezing is a fertility preservation method to store healthy, mature eggs until you are ready to use them.
Q. How is it done?
A. The process for egg freezing is very similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF). The ovaries are stimulated with medications administered under the skin. Growth of the follicles, which contain the eggs, is monitored with ultrasound and blood tests. Approximately 10 to 12 days of medication are usually required for the follicles to grow the appropriate size. Once they are ready, a different medicine is used to trigger the eggs to mature. The eggs are then retrieved in an outpatient surgical procedure that does not require general anesthesia. The eggs are then rapidly frozen in a process called vitrification and stored in liquid nitrogen until they are ready to be used to achieve pregnancy. When ready for pregnancy, the eggs are thawed, fertilized with sperm, grown in the laboratory for several days, and then transferred into the patient’s uterus that has been prepared with medicines to receive the growing embryo.
Q. How well does it work?
A. Changes in the freezing methods introduced over the past few years are responsible for the drastically improved survival of frozen eggs. Currently, the overall survival of thawed eggs after rapid freezing is reported to be 90-97%.
Q. Is it safe?
A. Due to the fairly recent acceptance of egg freezing, pregnancies from this procedure are far fewer than those from traditional IVF. The available data that we do have, however, is very reassuring that the process is safe. As a result, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine no longer considers egg freezing experimental.
Q. Who can benefit from egg freezing?
A. Egg freezing has been used by many women to preserve their fertility. Often, women will find themselves without a partner or immediate plans for pregnancy but in a stage of life where the chance for pregnancy begins to decline. Egg freezing can essentially “freeze time” and allow women to maintain their maximum chances for pregnancy. For women who must undergo medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, preserving frozen eggs can protect fertility in spite of damage that may occur to the ovaries.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Egg freezing is priced very similarly to an IVF cycle, only without the up-front fees associated with egg fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. The storage of frozen eggs is an affordable process, paid in yearly installments.
Q. How long can the eggs be stored?
A. Often, women anticipate having to wait for quite some time before using their frozen eggs. There is no evidence that frozen eggs must be used within a certain time frame or that the quality of the eggs or pregnancy outcomes change with prolonged storage.
Q. How can I learn more?
A. Contact the expert team at Houston Fertility Specialists. We will guide you through every step of your journey.