What’s egg freezing?

WHAT IS EGG FREEZING?

Considering egg freezing?  You are not alone.
By 2018, it is estimated that 76,000 women will electively freeze their eggs – a 15100% increase in less than ten years.
So, what’s involved?  And, more importantly, does it make sense for you?
Egg freezing, or oocyte [oh-uh-sahyt] cryopreservation is made up of four key steps:
Stimulate: hormone injections stimulate egg production
Extract: eggs are extracted from the ovaries
Freeze: vitrification flash freezes eggs into glass‐like cells
Store: eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks
Egg freezing follows the same protocol as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – up to the point of egg retrieval. IVFers proceed directly to the fertilization process, while egg freezers bank their eggs for future use.
Egg-freezing-process

IS EGG FREEZING EXPERIMENTAL?

Yes and no…

In October 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted egg freezing’s “experimental” label.  ASRM reached this decision after reviewing more than 1,000 studies.  The conclusion was:
1) Frozen & thawed oocytes (eggs) are as effective asfresh eggs commonly used in IVF
2) Frozen eggs do not increase the risk of birth defects or chromosomal abnormalities

WHO FREEZES THEIR EGGS?

Women freeze their eggs for a variety of reasons, from career progression, active duty to chemotherapy – there is no definitive reason.
 The common bond every woman shares is the desire to have children someday.
Elective
Elective egg freezers are the most prolific, as well as most varied group. Women who freeze their eggs for elective reasons want the option to have children in the future, but for whatever reason – just not right now.
Cancer
Egg freezing was initially conceived to give cancer patients the ability to preserve their healthy eggs prior to undergoing potentially harmful chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Genetic / Medical
Women with family history of early menopause, endometriosis, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) or other medical conditions that may lead to premature ovarian failure are good egg freezing candidates.
Military Personnel
Active duty military personnel are now able to freeze their eggs prior to deployment with the Pentagon’s pilot fertility preservation program.
Ethical & Religious
Women undergoing IVF who for ethical or religious reasons do not believe in embryo (fertilized egg) storage may opt to freeze only their eggs.