Many people look forward to starting a family one day. They want to get to know their child, experience significant milestones and share all of the wonderful moments in between. However, for a variety of reasons, the time isn’t always right for having a baby. Egg freezing, also called mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a procedure that allows people to save their eggs until they’re ready to have a child.
If you’re worried about your future fertility and know you want to have a biological child, egg freezing can offer peace of mind. Although there’s no guarantee that you or a surrogate will be able to become pregnant using your frozen eggs, the possibility can give you more control over your reproductive future.
How Does Egg Freezing Work?
As you consider egg freezing as an option, you’ll likely want to know how the egg freezing process works. At the simplest level, egg freezing involves taking mature eggs from the ovaries and preserving them by cooling them to subzero temperatures. However, there are several other steps required before reaching that point.
When you first decide to pursue egg freezing, you’ll consult with a specialist. The doctor may order blood tests to determine your eligibility for the procedure.
Next, you’ll start a course of hormone medications. These hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs during a cycle. Once the follicles where the eggs mature are developed, you’ll come into the clinic so they can be retrieved. Retrieval is done under sedation, typically using an aspiration needle guided by ultrasound. After they’re recovered, the eggs can be frozen and stored until they’re needed.
What Are the Benefits of Egg Freezing?
The primary benefit of egg freezing is that it allows you to postpone pregnancy until you’re ready and able to conceive. Depending on how old you are when your eggs are frozen, the chances of becoming pregnant after implantation range between 30 and 60 percent. However, egg freezing could also allow you to have a biological child — even if you can no longer become pregnant — with the help of a surrogate.
Egg freezing benefits a wide range of people. Egg freezing might be right for you if:
- You’re not ready to have a baby yet: Many women choose to have eggs frozen because they want to keep their reproductive options open. Whether you plan to focus on your career or you just haven’t found the right partner yet, egg freezing can help you start a family when you are ready.
- You need to start treatment for cancer or another condition: Radiation, chemotherapy and surgery for cancer can all impact fertility. If you want to have a baby after treatment, egg preservation can help make that dream a reality. Likewise, you might consider egg freezing if you have endometriosis, lupus, kidney disease or another condition that could limit your ability to become pregnant.
- Special circumstances may impact your future fertility: Plenty of other circumstances lead patients to seek out egg freezing. For example, transgender patients might want to preserve their eggs before transitioning so they can have a baby themselves or with the help of a surrogate at some point down the line.
Whatever your reasons for pursuing egg freezing, the compassionate staff at Western Fertility Institute will work hard to understand your needs and guide you every step of the way.
Reach Out to Western Fertility Institute Today
We believe that everyone who wants to be a parent should have the ability to start a family when the time is right. Egg freezing is one way we work to fulfill this mission.
We help a wide variety of individuals at our clinic in Los Angeles, including international patients and single patients. When you’re ready to start a family using your frozen eggs, we can help you begin that process as well. To schedule an appointment, reach out to us today.