Egg freezing helps preserve your reproductive potential by harvesting your eggs from your ovaries and freezing them for future use. If you want a house full of kids in the future but aren’t ready right now, egg freezing can help you become a parent when the time is right. Before you start the process, it’s important to understand how it works, how many eggs doctors take out for egg freezing and who is a good candidate to freeze their eggs.
How Egg Freezing Works
Egg freezing is a multi-step process. It starts with stimulating your ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of one during your cycle. At Western Fertility Institute, we will have you come for follow-up visits to see when your follicles are ready for retrieval, and your eggs are mature.
When you come in for the egg retrieval procedure, you will go under I.V. sedation. An ultrasound probe is inserted vaginally to identify your follicles. A needle will then be guided via ultrasound through your vagina and into a follicle, where a suction device at the end of the needle will remove your egg from the follicle. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to remove multiple eggs from your follicles.
Once the eggs get harvested, the egg freezing process can begin. Your eggs get cooled to subzero temperatures, and we may use cryoprotectants to prevent any ice crystals from forming. When you’re ready to grow your family, your health care team will unfreeze the eggs and fertilize them with sperm.
How Many Eggs Do They Freeze?
We already mentioned above that the process involves more than the typical single egg you produce during a cycle. So how many eggs do doctors take out for egg freezing? The answer depends on your age and the quality of your eggs.
Most fertility doctors recommend freezing around 20 to 30 eggs total. Then, when you decide to have a baby, a doctor may thaw six to eight eggs for each pregnancy attempt. Talk to your doctor ahead of time to see how many eggs they think you will need to create a viable pregnancy. Your doctor may also recommend ovarian stimulation more than once to produce enough eggs for multiple attempts.
Who Should Freeze Their Eggs
Egg freezing isn’t for everyone, but for some women, it’s an opportunity to have children even when it seems hopeless in the present moment. Some reasons to consider egg freezing include:
- Starting Treatment for Cancer: If you are going to start certain medical treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, your fertility could get harmed in the process. Egg freezing right before starting those treatments can help you have kids in the future.
- Starting In Vitro Fertilization: If you are using in vitro fertilization to have a baby, there’s a chance your partner will not produce enough sperm on the day your eggs get retrieved. Freezing your eggs can preserve them until your partner has enough sperm.
- Waiting for Kids: If you know kids are in your future and want to wait for the right time, egg freezing can allow you to have kids when you’re ready.
If you’re interested in egg freezing, contact Western Fertility Institute today to learn more.