Have you ever heard of “oocyte cryopreservation”? It’s egg freezing and it is a process that can cost upwards of $12,000. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the process, but the following are basic facts:
Why egg freezing?
Women choose egg freezing for a variety of reasons. For example, a diagnosis of cancer may call for radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy, and get in the way of present family planning.
If a person says they are interested in egg freezing, a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist will usually be required. This is where she should be completely educated on the process and its risks.
Eggs are readied for extraction.
A specialist will usually prescribe a daily self-injection of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), 10 days before extraction to prepare the eggs. In addition, regular ultrasounds will be taken to figure out when the eggs are ready for extraction.
The procedure only takes about 10 minutes and the patient is sedated throughout it. In order to extract eggs, a needle is inserted about an inch into the vaginal wall and ovaries.
Possible side effects.
A lot of women report side effects linked to the FSH injections, such as bloating, gas, nausea, and breast and ovary pain, Usually the more eggs that are produced the more severe the side effects tend to be. It’s usually recommended by doctors to take the day of extraction off from work. The majority of women return to their regular activities the following day with mild discomfort for about a week. This usually includes abdominal bloating and pressure.
Egg freezing and in vitro fertilization (IVF) share similar surgical risks (infection, ovary damage, and bleeding). During extraction, a full feeling on the abdomen and bloating usually occurs.
There is quite a bit of debate about the ideal age for egg extraction and freezing, even among fertility experts. Many claim that the best time is before age 25 and day that a decline in egg quantity and quality begin at age 35 and then after age 38. Some experts claim the best age is anywhere between 30 and 35 years old. The decision is a very personal one and opinions differ.
The best quantity.
The more eggs that are extracted, the better the success rate. Infertility professionals at UCSF go for between 15 and 20 extracted eggs per patient.
A woman won’t necessarily be guaranteed a successful pregnancy just because she decides to freeze her eggs. A lot of factors can have an impact of conception. For example, a woman’s age upon freezing and embryo implantation, sperm quality of the partner, the successful joining of sperm and egg, and more can impact the process.