Should You Consider Freezing Your Eggs?
Do you want to have children, but not right now? Are you concerned about your biological clock? Do you have a medical condition that might affect your fertility? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you may be considering freezing your eggs – a process also known as oocyte cryopreservation. Our San Antonio OBGYNs are here to give you information you need about preserving your fertility options.
Is preserving your fertility an option for you?
Egg freezing is a process that allows you to cryopreserve and store your eggs while they are still healthy and viable. You are born with all the eggs you will have in your lifetime. Your egg supply begins to decrease more rapidly in your mid-30s. By the time you are in your mid-40s, most, if not all, of your eggs that remain will be abnormal, making pregnancy unlikely. Medical conditions and treatment can also affect your fertility.
Here are some reasons why you might be a good candidate for freezing your eggs.
- You are considering waiting to have children due to career, relationship or financial reasons.
- You have certain medical conditions, such as lupus, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis or cancer, which might affect your fertility.
- You need radiation or chemotherapy treatments, which could put your eggs at risk.
What you need to know about freezing your eggs
Preserving your fertility through egg freezing is a good option for some women, but it’s important to understand the entire process before deciding.
The process from starting hormone stimulation medication to egg freezing usually only takes about eight to 14 days, but it does involve between four to seven visits to a fertility specialist. Here’s what to expect.
- Bloodwork and tests to assess your health and egg supply
- Hormone injections, which may cause mood swings, headaches and hot flashes, to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs for retrieval
- Visits to the physician for ultrasounds to monitor your ovaries and eggs
- Egg retrieval in an outpatient procedure, which may cause cramps, bloating or mild pain
After the retrieval is finished, your eggs go to the lab for vitrification, a flash-freezing process. Then, they can be sent to a cryo-storage facility, where they will be safely kept until you are ready to use them.
While oocyte cryopreservation is a good fertility preservation method, it is not a guarantee of pregnancy. You will also have the cost of IVF when you thaw your eggs and decide to try to get pregnant.
Our San Antonio OBGYNs can help you navigate fertility and pregnancy
If you are concerned about your future fertility and getting pregnant, talk to our San Antonio OBGYNs. They can help you understand whether freezing your eggs is an option for you. Contact us for an appointment.