Egg Freezing/ Oocyte Cyropreservation

Deciding whether to Freeze Your Eggs

Deciding whether to Freeze Your EggsFreezing eggs (or oocyte freezing) of young(ish) women to preserve fertility options is known as social egg freezing. Egg freezing is also used by cancer patients to preserve their fertility before they begin treatment. We discuss using frozen donor eggs from an egg bank in our section on egg donation.

Social egg freezing is controversial because some fear that it gives a false sense of security and might encourage women to postpone getting pregnant. Donor egg banks are reporting successful pregnancies with eggs frozen from women in their 20s, but most women wanting to freeze their own eggs for future use are in their late 30s. Success at this age is not well established.

However, social egg freezing is gaining in popularity because it is often the only option for women who want to have a biological child with their own eggs, but either are not ready or have not found a partner. If possible it is best to freeze eggs before the age of 35.

How Are Eggs Frozen?
The woman takes injectable medication to force her ovaries to produce more than the usual one egg per month. The eggs are then retrieved via a transvaginal procedure under anesthesia. It is important to use a fertility clinic that has experience with egg freezing. Specifically ask about their success rate.
How Much Does Egg Freezing Cost?
The cost of egg freezing varies greatly. If you pay per cycle the cost can be $10,000-$12,000 per egg retrieval cycle. However, some clinics have reduced the cost of egg freezing retrieval cycles to less than $10,000, and some are offering egg freezing “packages” allowing up to four cycles for a set cost of less than $13,000. More than one cycle may be needed to obtain enough eggs.

Grants are available for cancer patients to cover cost of egg freezing.

How Many Eggs Should Be Frozen To Preserve Fertility Options?
The number of eggs needed to preserve options for future IVF pregnancy attempts is a personal decision. Not every egg will successfully thaw, not every thawed egg will fertilize, not every embryo will develop, and not every embryo transferred into a woman’s uterus will implant and grow into a baby. Typically 8-14 eggs are retrieved per cycle. Some women are comfortable with 10 eggs frozen, while others want more.

Creating a Family has resources on social egg freezing and egg freezing for cancer patients. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:

More Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on egg freezing can be found at the icons below.

Source: Creating a Family shows below

Image credit: Mike Nelson

Additional Resources

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Creating a Family Radio Shows on Egg Freezing

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Creating a Family Blogs on Egg Freezing

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Creating a Family Factsheets, Tips on Egg Freezing

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Creating a Family Videos on Egg Freezing

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Q and A's with Experts on Egg Freezing