Are you thinking about going through the process of freezing eggs? If yes, then you have come to the right place. I have answered all the questions you might have about egg freezing. If you are having doubts about going through with this, then you should not worry because this post is the ultimate 2022 guide for the process of freezing eggs.
This should be your choice. It is your body, and you should not allow anyone to take your ability to decide what you want to do in your life. For whatever reason you’re thinking of freezing your eggs, the decision is yours. Always, remember that. Now, let’s get to it.
This post will discuss the following.
- What is egg freezing?
- Process of Freezing Eggs
- Freezing Eggs Side Effects
- What is the best age for freezing eggs?
- Cost for Freezing Eggs
- Things To Consider Before Freezing Your Eggs
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post is for informational purposes only. it should not be taken as medical advice. If you have questions about the process of freezing eggs, contact your doctor.
What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing is a process in which the eggs of a women found in the ovaries are extracted and frozen in a lab. They are unfertilized meaning no sperm is injected in them. This process is also called mature oocyte cryopreservation. The eggs could be frozen for a very long time. Some are frozen for ten years and have stayed healthy.
There are several reasons why a woman would choose to freeze her eggs. Some of these reasons include:
- If you have a health issue that may affect your fertility. For example, the treatment for cancer (chemotherapy and radiation) negatively affects your eggs. So, if you want to have babies in the future, you should freeze your eggs before chemo and radiotherapy. This does not mean you won’t get pregnant if you don’t. Also, if you are newly diagnosed with a certain disease like Lupus, then you could consider egg freezing because illnesses like this could affect your fertility too.
- If you are starting to get older and you don’t think it is the right time to have a baby because you haven’t found a partner or you are following your dreams. Fertility decreases with age. So, it would be smart to go through the process of freezing eggs to preserve the best eggs. The younger you are, the higher the possibility of having healthy eggs that could potentially become babies.
Process for Freezing Eggs
When you decide you want to have your eggs retrieved, there are a few appointments you need to attend before the actual procedure is done. Here is the process for freezing eggs.
Before Egg Retrieval
- Read everything you need to know before making the decision. This post is a good start.
- If you decide you want to do this, expect to have some blood work done first. A blood sample will be taken to get an overall view of your health. Your fertility will be tested too via blood sample.
- Your second appointment would most likely be a talk about your blood sample results and your overall health history. They will explain the process to you about what to expect.
- If you continue wanting to have this done, you would have a third appointment. During this appointment, your doctor will explain to you how to take the injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce more than one ovary. Usually, your ovaries produce only one mature egg per month. These injections increase the amount of ovaries produced per month. It is best to have ten eggs frozen because the chances of it surviving the thawing process and fertilization is not 100 percent.
- You will take the injections everyday, and you will most likely be seen by your doctor daily or every other day. They will make sure everything is going well.
Egg Retrieval Day
- Now, it is egg retrieval day. This is a procedure done to remove the eggs. You will not be cut open. Instead, your doctor will insert a needle through your vaginal wall into your ovaries. The doctor will collect as many eggs as he/she can and send them to the lab. You will be sedated and won’t feel a thing. But, you may wake up and feel some pain afterwards. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. You will go home the same day of the procedure if no complications arise.
After Egg Retrieval
Freezing Eggs Side Effects
There are not a lot of freezing eggs side effects. They are actually rare, but here are a few.
- Any procedure done has side effects. You would take injections which cause bruising on the skin, slight pain and redness. You may hav an allergic reaction to the injections too. There is also a risk of infection.
- Any anesthesia has side effects. You will be put to sleep before the egg retrieval procedure, but the anesthesia is lighter than the normal one meaning it has fewer potential side effects.
- There is a very rare possibility of OHSS which may make fluid build up in abdominal area. OHSS stands for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. The eggs become swollen and leak free fluid. You will feel bloated, have abdominal pain, and nausea. There are a few ways your doctor can prevent OHSS like changing medications and use a substitute for the trigger shot. Either ways, your doctor will be monitoring everything. So, the chance of OHSS is very low.
- Freezing eggs does not affect your fertility. Your ovarian reserve does not decrease. It does not affect your ability to get pregnant in the future.
- Your eggs will mature and the ones that mature will be stored and frozen for later to be fertilized.
- Once you decide to have a baby, they will be thawed and later fertilized.
What is the best age for freezing eggs?
You can freeze your eggs at any age, but you should consider the fact that the younger you are the healthier your eggs will be. Those eggs would have a higher chance of surviving the thawing process and grow into embryos. The best age for freezing eggs is in your 20s and early 30s. Once you hit 30, your eggs’ health starts to decrease. So, if you are thinking about freezing your eggs, try to do it before you are 35 years old. It is known that eggs could stay frozen for up to ten years, most between 5 and 10 years. So, for social reason, try to store your eggs at 30. Most women want to have babies before they are 40. So, that would be perfect.
Cost for Freezing Eggs
Freezing eggs is usually not covered fully by insurances. A single cycle of freezing eggs can cost from 6000 dollars to 20000 dollars according to Business Insider. Yes, the cost for freezing eggs is quite expensive but it may be worth it if you want a baby in the future. Some people have no other choice. The prices will differ according to the clinic you choose to go to. Remember, injections, eggs retrieval process, and process of thawing all cost money. So, that is why it comes out so expensive.
Things To Consider
There are a few things you should know before following up with the process of freezing eggs. Here they are.
- Some places only allow eggs to be frozen for ten years. So, keep that in mind.
- Younger eggs are better and have a higher chance of success rates.
- You may have to go through the process of freezing eggs more than once. You may not get enough eggs, and would have to retrieve eggs twice or more.
- The injections are hormones and may make you moody.
- You may gain weight after the egg retrieval procedure, but keep in mind that is a symptom of OHSS. Contact a doctor.
- You have to do research. All clinic are different, and some have good success rates while others don’t. Try to choose the best one in your area. Each clinic has its own website where you can see the success rates.