Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a method used to preserve a woman’s ability to get pregnant in the future. In this procedure, a woman’s eggs (oocytes) are harvested, frozen and stored for later use. A frozen egg can be thawed, combined with sperm in a lab and implanted in the uterus (in vitro fertilization).
Egg freezing to preserve eggs may be considered for a number of reasons:
- To preserve younger eggs for a future pregnancy
- Have a medical condition or need to undergo a surgery that can affect fertility
- You have cancer and may need radiation or chemotherapy
- You have to undergo a medical treatment that can affect your ability to get pregnant
- A genetic mutation was found, requiring removing the ovaries (e.g. BRCA mutation)
- You do not wish to have embryos frozen
- To simplify the donor egg procedure
- You are single and wish to have a child without a partner
Eggs can be frozen for a woman’s lifetime, as they do not age. Most fertility clinics recommend freezing eggs as early as possible. We believe under age 41 is best.
The process involves ovarian stimulation through medication (to produce as many eggs possible), monitoring, egg retrieval, and egg storage.
Your doctor can help you understand how egg freezing works, the potential risks and whether this method of fertility preservation is right for you based on your needs and reproductive history.
The cost of the process depends if there is any insurance coverage, and varies depending on your insurance plan. Some insurance plans may cover the initial assessment and may cover a portion of the treatment.