The Fertility Freezer: A Glimpse into Egg Freezing

Want to get pregnant but prefer not to rush into it? Feeling like parenthood can wait, but your career is just taking off, and you want to maximize the opportunity it presents? Unsure which way your relationship is headed, yet your biological clock has other ideas?

Heard of egg freezing? No? Well, here’s a useful reference for egg freezing NYC services. Meanwhile, read on for some invaluable info on the subject. Who knows, it could be the solution to your current situation.

What is Egg Freezing?

As the terms suggest, egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, involves retrieving and preserving a woman’s eggs for future use – when they decide to have a baby. This process has been around for a while, but only recently have the success rates improved to a point where more women have confidence in it.

How does it work? For starters, the eggs are harvested from the ovaries and then flash-frozen through vitrification. For perspective, this’s the same technique used in organ transplants, allowing the eggs to be stored at extremely low temperatures without damage. The frozen eggs can then be thawed and fertilized with sperm and implanted into the uterus to achieve a successful pregnancy.

Typically, you may require bloodwork, ultrasound, and a medical assessment from a fertility specialist before you decide to freeze your eggs. Then, the physician offers hormonal medications (injections) to stimulate your ovaries to produce more eggs. After that, the doctor collects the eggs via a painless procedure (while you’re sedated) called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration.

The physician uses a needle guided by an ultrasound probe to remove the eggs gently. The eggs are then stored in labeled containers and frozen at -196 degrees Celsius. And voila! You’re set.

The Upsides

Egg freezing offers many advantages to women who want to plan for their future. Here’re a few benefits of the procedure:

  • It can delay the natural decline in fertility that comes with age – when you’re born, you have a certain number of eggs which decrease with time. Egg freezing allows you to preserve some of those eggs when you’re still young and healthy.
  • Increases the chances of a successful pregnancy – sometimes, egg freezing is performed to reduce the risk of genetic inheritance, as the eggs you freeze when you’re young are genetically stronger than those in your later years.
  • It lets you pursue your dreams without worrying about timing. Whether you want to focus on your career, relationships, or other facets of your life, egg freezing allows you to do so without putting what matters to you on hold.

The Downsides

As with most good things, you need to consider a few drawbacks. These include:

  • High cost – depending on where you go for the procedure, it could cost between $10,000 to $20,000. We don’t all have such a sum lying around, meaning it might be out of reach. Plus, unless your health insurer considers egg freezing a medical necessity, they’re unlikely to cover the cost.
  • No guarantee of success – while the success rate has improved, fertilizing a frozen egg is still unpredictable. The egg may also not survive the thawing phase.
  • Medical risks – egg retrieval poses some risks, as with most medical procedures. For instance, in some cases, bladder damage, infection, and nerve damage occur.

Variables Impacting Egg Freezing Success

In the past, the success rate of egg freezing was significantly lower than in the present. Various improvements in technology have raised the odds, thankfully. Even so, the factors impacting the efficacy of the procedure include the following:

  • Your age – younger women (in their late 20s to mid-30s) have a higher chance of success.
  • The condition of your eggs – the more viable your eggs are, the better. This means you should look for underlying health conditions that can affect the quality and quantity of eggs, such as ovarian cysts.
  • Physician’s skill – dealing with an experienced physician improves the likelihood of a positive outcome.
  • The egg freezing lab – It’s advisable to look for a certified clinic with high success rates as they typically have better facilities, which are crucial to the process.

Storage Duration

Perhaps you’re wondering, “how long can a service provider stow my eggs?” Well, most clinics store frozen eggs for up to 10 years, provided they maintain the freezer’s set temperature throughout. This gives you ample time to decide when you want to go ahead and use them. Some providers store them for longer, with approval from the relevant medical council or board.

Egg freezing isn’t for everyone. But if you want to take the leap of faith and freeze your eggs, you should at least be informed about what to expect. Hopefully, this informative piece has clued you in.