What is Egg Freezing?
Cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, as well as other disease, illness or medication may compromise the health and fertility of the reproductive system. Egg freezing for fertility preservation can be a welcome option to those about to undergo medical treatments in which sterility can result. This treatment option gives opportunity and hope for a fertile future.
Who Can Benefit from Egg Freezing?
- Women who might lose ovarian function due to a surgical procedure.
- Women who might need radiation or chemotherapy to the ovaries.
- Women with autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, glomerulonephritis), or who are going to be given a bone marrow transplant and need to be treated with gonadotoxic agents.
- Women with severe endometriosis.
- Women whose biological clock will accelerate loss of eggs due to family history of early menopause.
- Couples going through in vitro fertilization, on the day of egg retrieval when no sperm are identified or found during sperm extraction; percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), testicular sperm extraction (TESA) or micro-surgical testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE).
When Egg Freezing is Most Successful
The woman’s age plays an important role in the success rate of this procedure in much the same way as it does in the use of “fresh eggs” in a standard In Vitro Fertilization process. Women under 32 years of age are the best candidates for egg freezing. The majority of women under 43 can freeze eggs, however the future pregnancy rate is dependent on the number and quality of the eggs frozen. On average it takes 10-12 eggs per pregnancy.
Stages of an Egg Freezing Program
- Ovarian reserve, ultrasound scan and laboratory tests for several hormones and STDs
- Consult with physician to establish treatment process
- Counseling with counselor or psychologist
- Controlled ovarian stimulation
- Egg retrieval
- Egg freezing