Egg freezing is a method to preserve the ability to have children in women of reproductive age. The success of egg freezing has improved tremendously over the past 10 years; and in 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the experimental label from the process. Changes in freezing techniques have allowed for better egg survival after thawing and increased the chances of a successful cycle.
Why Freeze Your Eggs?
There are several instances in which egg freezing might be considered:
- Patients about to undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation that would affect the pelvic region may want to freeze eggs prior to starting their treatment.
- Since there is a progressive loss in the quality and quantity of eggs as a woman ages, a patient might want to freeze her eggs when she is still young.
- Patients who do not want to freeze embryos, whether for religious, ethical or social reasons, might be more willing to freeze their eggs.
Is Egg Freezing Effective?
In the past, egg freezing was done by a process called slow freezing, which was adopted from techniques used to freeze embryos. Unfortunately, slow freezing sometimes allowed the formation of ice crystals within the egg, and upon thawing, the oocyte would be harmed.
Midwest Fertility currently uses a newer freezing process called vitrification, which greatly reduces the chance of ice formation within the egg and has greatly increased the likelihood of egg survival upon thawing.