Egg freezing (also known as oocyte cryopreservation) is a method of fertility preservation, in which a woman’s oocytes are retrieved for the purpose of freezing and storage to be used at a later date. In general, there are two main reasons why women seek this procedure: Prior to a medical treatment (such as chemo or radiation therapy) that can affect their fertility, or in case they want to store eggs for use at a later time in life (also known as "social freezing").
Freezing your eggs helps you reduce the concerns you might experience regarding your reproductive future and allow you to start a family when you feel ready
How does egg freezing work?
The egg freezing process starts in a similar manner to an IVF cycle. The patient is screened for infectious diseases (including HIV) and then receives medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce several eggs, rather than the one usually produced during a menstrual cycle. The eggs are then retrieved in a brief procedure performed under sedation/mild anesthesia.
The obtained oocytes are then evaluated to see how healthy they are, and the most robust ones are vitrified (cryofrozen) and stored. They can then be thawed at a later stage to be fertilized, and (provided embryos are created) transferred to the uterus.
While frozen oocytes will not deteriorate even after many years (if stored properly), the length of time cryopreserved eggs can remain stored at a clinic may be regulated by law or by the specific clinic’s regulations.
Egg Freezing Success Rates
The chances of pregnancy being achieved following egg freezing are approximately equal to fresh egg IVF cycles and largely depend on two factors: Number of eggs obtained and the age of the woman at the point the oocytes were extracted and frozen.