Egg freezing can be done for both medical and social reasons. Studies show that the sooner eggs are frozen the better the chance of success. It is well known that the quantity and quality of eggs decline as age increases. It is also well known that cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, as well as other disease, illness, surgery or medication may compromise the reproductive system. For these reasons it is ideal to freeze eggs before the age of 35 or before undergoing any medical treatment from which sterility may result. The fertility specialists at Heartland Fertility Clinic understand that not everyone and not every situation is the same. A conversation with our physicians and some simple investigations will help determine if egg freezing is a viable option for you.
When you are seen at the clinic, testing will be ordered to determine a personalized plan of care. Once injectable medications are started, it takes an average of 10-14 days to grow and mature the eggs. The eggs’ response during this time will be closely monitored through ultrasound and bloodwork. Once the eggs are determined to be “ready”, they will then be retrieved under light sedation, using a minor surgical procedure. All viable eggs will then be flash frozen (vitrified) and stored safely onsite for future use.
Egg freezing can provide:
• Stress Reduction
Some potential drawbacks to consider are:
• No guarantee of success
• Costly (Freezing eggs is currently ONLY covered by the Manitoba Fertility Tax Credit program when it is determined medically indicated)
• It is a newer and delicate technology, so data is lacking on long term success
• Time commitment – the process requires frequent visits to the clinic, sometimes at short notice.
If egg freezing isn’t an option for you, some other avenues that could be considered and discussed include adoption, embryo adoption, egg donation, sperm donation or embryo freezing (IVF).
If you are interested in freezing your eggs or in finding out more information, please have your family doctor or your gynecologist send our fertility specialists a referral on your behalf. Our referral form is quick to fill out and easily accessible through the following link – https://heartlandfertility.mb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Patient-Referral-Form-1.pdf