What is egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation)?
Egg freezing is a method of fertility preservation. It was originally designed for patients due to receive medical procedures (such as radiation and chemotherapy) to have viable eggs available later.
More recently, women have chosen to freeze their eggs to alleviate the pressure of having a child while pursuing their education or careers. Many argue that women, especially those in the technology sector, are working in male-dominated, less family-oriented industries, making professional advancement more difficult for women who take time off to have children. Known as social egg freezing, this option allows women to address both family and career goals.
At Genesis Fertility Centre we have the first pregnancies from egg freezing in Vancouver.
Note: Freezing eggs does not guarantee pregnancy. When the eggs are thawed they must be fertilized using ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). IVF success rates vary according to the patient’s age at freezing, technique, history and fertility clinic success rates. The technique has advanced significantly in the last decade as demonstrated by frozen donor egg IVF success rates.
What is the process of egg freezing?
The process involves a woman’s eggs being extracted, frozen and stored indefinitely. The procedure is identical to in vitro fertilization except that eggs are frozen by a process called ‘vitrification’ instead of being fertilized.
What is the egg freezing age limit?
The best time to freeze your eggs is still a debated topic within the infertility field. A woman’s fertility depends on both the number and quality of eggs remaining in her ovaries. As women age both of these measures decrease.
Though it’s best to retrieve eggs at a young age, some fertility specialists believe that the ideal time to freeze eggs is between 30 to 35 years of age. Most women, however, pursue egg freezing after age 35. If eggs are frozen before 30, they might never be used given that chances of natural conception are high; if the eggs are retrieved past 35, there is a higher chance that the egg has increased chromosomal abnormality or decreased egg quality due to other factors.
How much does egg freezing cost?
Attend an upcoming egg freezing information session or see egg freezing and storage costs at Genesis Fertility Centre here.
- Elective egg freezing: the goal is to store fertility potential for later
- Fertility preservation prior to chemotherapy or other egg damaging treatment
- Frozen donor eggs
- Collecting eggs from multiple cycles for use with limited sperm availability
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