Egg Freezing – Is It Right For You?
In October of 2012, ASRM made the revolutionary announcement that egg freezing was no longer considered an experimental procedure. “Oocyte cryopreservation is an exciting technology, no longer being considered experimental. Pregnancy rates and health outcomes of the resulting children are now comparable to those of IVF with fresh eggs,” said Eric Widra, MD, Chair of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Practice Committee.
FIRM has been performing oocyte cryopreservation services for many years. Women may choose to freeze their oocytes for a variety of reasons:
- Women seeking to delay childbearing, or wishing to pursue fertility treatment at a later date, can electively freeze oocytes affording them additional flexibility as fertility decreases with age.
- Patients with a recent cancer diagnosis may wish to preserve their oocytes if they are scheduled to have radiation or chemotherapy, which may damage oocytes.
- Women with a variety of other medical conditions that require gonadotoxic (egg damaging) treatment may also benefit from oocyte cryopreservation.
- For personal reasons, some women undergoing IVF may elect to freeze extra eggs instead of inseminating all of the eggs and freezing embryos.
- Women with a family history of early menopause or premature ovarian failure may also wish to freeze eggs.
The egg freezing process requires self-administration of fertility injections to stimulate the ovaries. Once the ovaries have responded, the eggs are harvested during an outpatient surgical procedure. FIRM offers egg freezing technology (also called oocyte vitrification) to preserve the unfertilized, mature eggs for future use. Vitrification uses a specific cryoprotectant that protects eggs from injury during the egg freezing/thawing process. More than 70% of eggs survive freezing and thawing, and a similar amount will be successfully fertilized.
The process for seeking assistance with oocyte cryopreservation is simple and begins with a FIRM physician consultation. The physician will obtain a thorough history, discuss treatment options and review the screening requirements. Some of the cost of this procedure may be covered by your insurance. Please contact us for more information about insurance coverage and financing options.