Egg Freezing at Ovation: Slow the Biological Clock
When a female is born, she has between 5 million and 7 million eggs — the supply she will have for the rest of her lifetime. As women age, their egg supply dwindles, and after age 35, the quantity, quality and viability of the eggs decreases even more rapidly. Today, many women are choosing to postpone childbirth because of educational pursuits, job obligations or health reasons. Egg freezing provides women with an option to potentially preserve their ability to conceive for a later date.
Why Choose Egg Freezing?
A woman may want to discuss egg freezing with an Ovation partner physician for several reasons, including:
- The presence of an illness that requires surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment that could harm her eggs
- A desire to preserve her healthy eggs at a young age (20s or 30s), so she has the opportunity to start a family at a future date
- The need – whether for personal or religious reasons – to be able to freeze her genetic material prior to fertilization
Women should know a few things about egg freezing. For one, experts recommend that women freeze their eggs as early as possible – preferably before age 38. No sperm is needed from a partner or a donor at the time a woman chooses to freeze her eggs, because the eggs are frozen unfertilized. The eggs will be fertilized when they are thawed, at the time the woman chooses, which allows her to make the decision of who her sperm donor will be at a later date.
Egg Freezing Process
Egg freezing is a multi-step process that involves:
- Ovulation induction – the woman receives hormone medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce eggs
- Egg retrieval – an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 20 minutes, performed with the patient under sedation, in which the physician removes the eggs from the ovaries
- Egg freezing – our trained embryologists inspect the harvested eggs and select the viable ones to be frozen using vitrification
Ovation’s advanced, state-of-the-art IVF laboratories use the process of vitrification for egg freezing. This “flash freezing” method prevents ice crystals, which can destroy the egg’s cellular structure, from forming.
When the woman is ready to start a family, her eggs will be thawed and fertilized, and any resulting embryos can be transferred to her uterus during the IVF process.
When Choosing Egg Freezing: Make the Right Choice
When choosing egg freezing, it’s important to choose a leading company such as Ovation, with experienced partner physicians, embryologists and scientists.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) urges women to ask very specific questions of the facility that they choose for egg freezing. They should ask not only about the level of experience with the process, but also about the success rates that they have achieved in their own programs. For example, they should specifically ask how many babies have been born from eggs frozen at their facility.
We welcome the opportunity to address these questions because we are proud of the fact that Ovation employs some of the most experienced and skilled scientists and embryologists in the country, who partner with our associated board-certified and industry-recognized reproductive endocrinologists to share knowledge and best practices. Contact us to learn more.