Freezing unfertilized and fertilized eggs keeps them safe and perfectly preserved until you need them. CARE Fertility in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas, provides state-of-the-art egg freezing facilities at its embryology lab. To find out more about how egg freezing plays a part in ensuring your fertility, call one of CARE Fertility’s offices today or book an appointment online.
Egg freezing, also called mature oocyte cryopreservation, involves harvesting some of your eggs, freezing them, and storing them for future use. Alternatively, you can opt for embryo cryopreservation. That means fertilizing the harvested eggs and then freezing and storing the resulting embryos.
You can use frozen eggs to conceive a child with your partner’s sperm or use a sperm donor. You can carry the resulting embryo yourself, or the CARE Fertility team can implant it in your gestational carrier’s uterus.
You might choose to undergo egg freezing if you’re not ready to have a baby now but want to improve your chances of getting pregnant in the future. Younger eggs are typically healthier, so freezing some could help you conceive when it’s the right time for you.
Another common reason some women choose egg freezing is if they have a condition that could cause infertility. Sickle cell anemia and autoimmune disorders like lupus are just some of the conditions that can reduce fertility. Gender diversity issues like being transgender might also prompt you to freeze some eggs.
Cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy can also affect your ability to conceive. Egg freezing before you begin these therapies might mean you can have biological children in the future.
You could opt for egg freezing in preference to embryo cryopreservation if you’re undergoing in vitro fertilization. Some people have religious or ethical reasons for preferring egg freezing to embryo freezing.
Before starting the egg-freezing process, the CARE Fertility team runs some tests, including:
Egg freezing consists of ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and freezing.
Ovarian stimulation involves taking synthetic hormones that stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. When you’re ready for egg retrieval (usually after 10-14 days), your doctor at CARE Fertility can inject human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to help the eggs mature.
Your doctor performs the egg retrieval procedure while you’re under sedation. A common technique is transvaginal ultrasound aspiration, which involves inserting an ultrasound probe into your vagina to identify the egg follicles.
Your doctor guides a needle through your vagina and into a follicle. They use a suction device attached to the needle to remove multiple eggs from the follicles.
Soon after harvesting your unfertilized eggs, the CARE Fertility team cools them to subzero temperatures. They apply high concentrations of substances (cryoprotectants) that stop the formation of ice crystals, which would damage the eggs.
When you want to use your frozen eggs, your doctor thaws them, fertilizes them if necessary, and implants them in your uterus (or your gestational carrier’s).
To learn more about egg freezing’s benefits, call CARE Fertility today or book an appointment online.