October 13, 2020
If you want to become pregnant—but not right now—egg freezing may be a good option to consider.
Fertility specialists say more and more women are interested in freezing their eggs. Cryopreservation, the technical name for egg freezing, is a way to delay motherhood while taking advantage of the fertility of your younger years. The reasons women pursue this choice are varied, ranging from personal and professional, to medical.
What is the Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing involves harvesting your eggs to attempt pregnancy at a later time through in vitro fertilization (IVF). It requires the use of fertility drugs so you produce multiple eggs during ovulation for retrieval and subsequent freezing (cryopreservation)
Reasons to Freeze Your Eggs
You might consider egg freezing if:
- You want or need to delay childbearing to pursue educational, career or other personal goals
- You are diagnosed with cancer or any other medical condition, where the disease or its treatment can impact fertility
What is the Best Age for Egg Freezing?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the optimal time to freeze your eggs is when you are in your 20s and early 30s. This is when you still have a good ovarian reserve (the number of eggs in your ovaries) and those eggs are at their healthiest. However, at Penn Fertility Care – Lancaster General Health, we will work with you to determine the ideal plan that fits your reproductive goals.
3 Steps in Freezing Your Eggs
This is how egg freezing works.
- During a normal menstrual cycle and without medication, a woman typically releases one egg every month. During an egg freezing cycle, you would take medications that help more than one egg grow per month.
- Your fertility specialist monitors your eggs and hormone levels with blood work and ultrasound.
- Your eggs are retrieved, using a transvaginal ultrasound to guide the process, and are immediately frozen
Does Egg Freezing Work?
As with any fertility treatment, freezing your eggs does not guarantee a future pregnancy. However, it is certainly an option to carefully consider and discuss with your doctor and others you trust. Success depends on many factors, including the age you freeze your eggs.
Freezing your eggs can be valuable and life-changing, giving you a better chance to become a parent on your own terms. A fertility specialist can help you decide if it’s the right option for you.