FAQs on Egg Freezing in Los Angeles
Egg (oocyte) freezing is an innovative technology that allows women to freeze and store their eggs for an extended period of time. When the woman decides to become pregnant, the eggs are thawed, fertilized with sperm, and placed back into the uterus.
What are the advantages of egg freezing?
There are many advantages of egg freezing, also called cryopreservation. The women who will benefit from egg freezing are those who:
• Have medical conditions that affect fertility.
• Undergo assisted reproduction therapies who do not wish to have embryos frozen.
• Have an age-related declined in fertility.
• Wish to simplify the donor egg procedure.
• Have to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy
• Require treatment with toxic medications due to an autoimmune disease.
• Are single and wish to have a child without a partner.
What is cryopreservation of the embryos?
For couples who have extra embryos following the embryo transfer process, the doctor may choose to freeze (cryopreserve) these for future use. This process makes future fertility treatment less expensive, simpler, and less invasive following the first cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Couples usually choose to cryopreserve extra embryos before undergoing the IVF process.
How is egg freezing performed?
The first step in the egg freezing process is medication. Gonadotropins are prescribed to simulate the ovaries to produce several eggs. The eggs are later collected from the ovaries in a minor surgical procedure called the transvaginal oocyte retrieval. Once removed, the eggs are rapidly cooled and frozen using liquid nitrogen in long-term storage.
Are there risks associated with cryopreservation of eggs?
Egg freezing is a fairly safe procedure, with studies showing no increased risks to the baby with this process. In a recent study involving 200 children born by egg freezing, the birth defect rate was only 3.5%, which is the same rate found in babies born of regular means.
Most insurance policies do not cover fertility treatments. A typical cycle costs around $7,000, but there are also additional fees to consider including long-term egg storage fees and medication costs.
How long are the eggs kept in storage?
Eggs can be frozen for the woman’s lifetime, as they do not age. There is currently no time limitation requirements.
Does freezing the eggs help eliminated the risks of having a baby late in life?
Frozen eggs decrease the risk of certain age-related birth defects, such as Downs’ syndrome. Freezing oocytes assures that they do not age, so they remain the same age as if the woman was still young.
What is the best age to freeze your eggs?
There is no right age to put eggs in storage. However, age 41 years and under is best. Most fertility clinics recommend freezing the eggs as early as possible. The clinic staff will consider hormone levels as well as the resting follicle count when doing egg freezing.
What medications will I need to take?
To produce as many eggs as possible, the doctor will prescribe stimulation drugs, such as Follistim and Menopur. To keep the body from reabsorbing the eggs, the doctor will prescribe Ganirelix or Cetrotide.
What testing will I need prior to the egg retrieval procedure?
Before the eggs can be processed, the doctor will want to ensure there are mature, healthy eggs available in the body. Transvaginal ultrasounds are used to measure follicle maturation (sac that contains eggs), and blood work is done to confirm that eggs are maturing and medication levels are appropriate.