Understanding the Egg Freezing Process
Egg freezing or “oocyte cryopreservation” is a way of slowing down the clock and preserving women’s fertility so they can have a family in the future. One of the most common issues that a fertility clinic sees are age related fertility problems, mainly a decrease in egg quality and quantity.
Many women struggle with the same issue, when their body is at the peak of its fertility, the timing isn’t right to bring a baby into this world. Women in their twenties and thirties are at a crucial point in their career where they feel unprepared to take time off to have a child.
Whatever the circumstances may be, understanding the egg freezing process will help you weigh your options, and provide you with more choices about your future.
How do I freeze my eggs?
First, you’ll need to consult a fertility specialist and find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure. You will be checked by the doctor to make sure that you are in overall good health. They will also check the status of your ovarian reserve (quality and quantity of your eggs). Generally, this will begin with blood test to analyse two hormones involved in ovulation.
- Anti-Mullerian hormone: This hormone is related to early-stage ovarian follicles. You can get a good indication of the size of your remaining egg supply by measuring this hormone.
- Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): This hormone comes from the pituitary gland. FSH helps ovarian follicles mature so they can release eggs. High levels of FSH indicate that the quality of your eggs is low or that your body is struggling to produce eggs.
Once you have been cleared, your fertility team will walk you through the fertility medications you’ll be taking. This walk-through will also include when and how to administer these medications.
The Egg Freezing Process
This includes blood tests, a pelvic exam, transvaginal ultrasound and in some cases hysteroscopy. A physician will then analyze your test results and plan your treatment protocol accordingly.
Your egg freezing protocol will begin with a course of fertility medications which will stimulate your ovaries. Ovarian stimulation has two purposes: First, to plan your ovulation so that the egg retrieval process can be performed at the right time. Second, to generate as many eggs as possible. You typically only produce on mature egg in a natural ovulation cycle.. When you are freezing your eggs, it is better to maximize the number of eggs available.
Patients will start taking fertility medications on the third day of their period and continue them for 10 to 12 days. During this time, you’ll need to visit our clinic several times for blood tests and ultrasound monitoring so that the team can keep an eye on how your follicles are developing. Once there is a good numbe