What is Egg Freezing?
Cryopreservation (freezing) of eggs allows a woman to preserve young, healthy eggs, leaving the option of pursuing motherhood at a later time. Most commonly, oocyte (egg) freezing is for women preparing to undergo cancer treatment known to negatively affect ovarian function. Egg freezing is also used when there is a risk of ovarian damage or removal and in cases of premature ovarian failure. Some women elect to freeze their eggs so that they can delay childbearing for other reasons such as school, careers, or other personal reasons.
Maternal age at the time of egg freezing is the most important factor in determining pregnancy success rates.
The Egg Freezing Process
Injectable fertility medications are used to stimulate a woman’s ovaries and then her eggs (oocytes) are harvested and frozen.
Vitrification is a rapid freezing process that uses high concentrations of cryoprotectants to prevent ice crystals from forming, reducing the risk of egg damage. The unfertilized eggs are then preserved in liquid nitrogen where they remain until thawed for implantation.
Slow freezing is another method of cryopreservation that involves multiple steps to gradually reduce the temperature of the eggs that were harvested. The eggs are then stored at sub zero temperatures in special freezers.
Success Rates From Egg Freezing
When women are ready to use their frozen eggs, they are then thawed and fertilized in the IVF lab. The fertilized egg (embryo) is then placed into the uterus for implantation.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine reports egg freezing in young women produces pregnancy rates and healthy births similar to those of fresh egg use in comparable IVF cycles.
Cryopreservation is a viable option for many women. DFW Fertility Associates cares for women who are considering egg freezing for fertility preservation in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Flower Mound Colleyville, Denton and the remaining Dallas and Tarrant County areas.