Egg freezing is a big advance, and has many uses. The ability to safely freeze and thaw eggs is a recent development. Eggs survive this process quite well – only 5 to 15% don’t make it through – and then go on to fertilize and develop as if they were never frozen. Once frozen, the clock stops. No matter how long they remain frozen, they will act the age at which they were frozen.
Egg freezing has several uses: women facing cancer therapy which will kill their eggs; women without a partner wanting to save some eggs while young; women undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) who want to avoid having more embryos than they need; and women needing donor eggs, which are now available from Egg Banks.
Egg freezing typically requires 2- 4 weeks following an initial evaluation with the fertility specialist. The patient’s ovaries are stimulated with hormone shots in order to grow many eggs at one time. These eggs are then “retrieved” while the patient is under light anesthesia. The eggs are evaluated under the microscope at the time of the egg retrieval and the mature eggs are vitrified and stored.
For more information about egg freezing, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jim Toner or any other of ACRM’s fertility experts, call 678-841-1089 or click here.