January 15th, 2018
Freezing your eggs is a form of fertility preservation that conserves your eggs now so you can start a family in the future. Egg freezing is an increasingly popular option among women and can be considered for many different personal reasons. Some women are undergoing cancer treatment and want to protect their fertile eggs while others simply aren’t ready to start a family during their peak fertile years.
While egg freezing is a viable option for women who can’t get pregnant immediately, the process is by no means guaranteed. The timing behind when you freeze and thaw your eggs will have a significant impact on your overall success.
How Egg Freezing Works
The egg freezing process starts with a period of hormonal stimulation in order to produce a series of mature eggs. This process will be overseen by your fertility specialist, ensuring the best possible methods and outcomes for you. It usually involves hormonal injections that you can do yourself at home!
After the stimulation process is complete, you will be sedated and the eggs will be removed from your ovaries using a fine needle and an ultrasound. This is a fast and simple procedure and you will be able to rest at home after it is completed.
The specialist freezing process that preserves your eggs is called vitrification and it allows them to be stored safely and in excellent condition.
Egg Freezing – Think about It When You Wouldn’t Think about It
One of the greatest difficulties that women experience with egg freezing is timing. Many of us wouldn’t think about the procedure in our 20s or even our 30s when our limited supply of eggs is at their healthiest.
Many women think about egg freezing later in life but because they are the same age as you are, many of your eggs can no longer lead to a pregnancy by the age of 35.
Approximately half of the eggs you choose to freeze may develop into an embryo, which then has less than a 50 per cent chance of leading to pregnancy. Due to this, it’s recommended that women freeze their eggs at a younger age when more healthy eggs can be produced, leading to a greater chance of pregnancy in the future.
Freezing Your Eggs between in Your 20s-Early 30s
While there is a chance you won’t need these eggs, choosing to freeze them in your 20s or 30s means:
- fewer cycles are required
- lower costs
- a greater number of higher quality eggs
Freezing Your Eggs from 35-40+
This may be the time you need them most, but freezing your eggs at a later age will mean:
- more cycles are required
- more costs to the patient
- reduced egg quality, egg numbers and live births
As well as this, pregnancy in older mothers always comes with extra complications, whether you’re using frozen eggs or not. Risks including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and losing the pregnancy are all more prevalent in older pregnant women.
Weighing Up Your Options
If you’re considering freezing your eggs, a consultation with a fertility specialist is a fantastic place to start. Based in East Melbourne, Dr Alex Polyakov can help you understand the risks and benefits involved in egg freezing and determine if it’s right for you. Through assessments such as Ovarian Reserve Testing, Dr Alex can determine the number and quality of eggs that are ready for ovulation, giving you a greater insight into your egg freezing options.
To organise an appointment to discuss egg freezing, call 03 9486 0677 or contact Dr Alex online.