As a woman ages, unfortunately the quantity and quality of her eggs diminish. While the decline in quality actually starts when women are in their 20s, this process accelerates around age 35, just as many women are hitting their stride in their professional lives.
Egg freezing allows you to press pause on your fertility.
During the initial consultation, your reproductive endocrinologist will review your medical information to learn more about your fertility and overall health. Your ovarian reserve (another way of saying the number of eggs remaining in the ovary) will then be determined with a blood test that tests AMH levels and an ultrasound to visualize the ovaries. Both of these are done in our office.
During this visit, your care team will also detail what to expect from the egg freezing process. This will include sharing information about related medications, scheduling and protocols and answering any questions you may have.
When you ovulate naturally, only a single egg is produced. Hormone injections, which are taken for 8-12 days prior to your egg retrieval, will stimulate your ovaries so that multiple eggs develop during your cycle.
During this time, you’ll need to visit our office several times for ultrasound monitoring and blood tests in order to ensure that you are responding well to the medication.
Once your eggs have finished maturing, you will be scheduled for an egg retrieval. The egg retrieval process is an outpatient procedure (performed under twilight anesthesia) and typically only takes between 15-20 minutes. During the retrieval, your surgeon will retrieve several eggs from your ovaries with the help of a transvaginal ultrasound.
Immediately after the retrieval, your eggs will be “frozen.”