Fertility Doctor Tina Koopersmith
Discusses The Egg Freezing Process & Success Factors
Egg freezing, or vitrification, is the process of freezing a woman’s eggs in order to potentially start a family in later years.
Egg Freezing Today
As technology has advanced, egg freezing has become more and more popular. For years, egg freezing was only done for fertility preservation in cases of planned chemotherapy or surgery for removing the ovaries, in an effort to save a woman’s fertility after treatments that destroy her reproductive capability.
With the advent of vitrification, a new technique of flash-freezing eggs, better survival and success rates have been demonstrated in many clinics and egg freezing is no longer considered experimental. This advancement in technology has given women who are not yet ready to have a child the opportunity to delay marriage and childbearing for education, career or other reasons.
Factors of Success
Despite the success rates, it’s important to understand that the process of egg freezing is not a guarantee that the eggs will survive to be fertilized in later years. Mathematical modeling shows that it takes 100 eggs to produce one baby; however, there are several factors that contribute to an egg’s health, such as:
- Is the egg normal?
- Will the egg be able to withstand the freeze/thaw process?
- Will the egg fertilize successfully?
- Will the egg successfully develop into a blastocyst so it can be implanted?
There are also several other contributing factors that affect the egg freezing process, including:
- How old was a woman when she froze her eggs?
- How many eggs was she able to freeze?
- Are the eggs healthy?
What Are My Chances For Success
Mathematical models suggest if a woman wants to delay fertility by five to seven years, then if she freezes her eggs by age 34, she will maximize her success rates -- but then again, perhaps she never really needed to freeze her eggs. However, it becomes cost effective for her to freeze her eggs by age 37. If a woman is beyond age 40, the success rate of frozen eggs declines precipitously and may not be cost effective. At any age, for women with diminished ovarian reserve who can only grow a few eggs per month, freezing eggs may never be cost effective.
Together We'll Find A Way
If you’re considering egg freezing, it’s important to plan as early as possible to ensure your best chances of success. We are here to help you understand all options when it comes to having your eggs frozen, so please talk to us if it’s even an idea you have. Speaking to our fertility specialists sooner rather than later about your individual situation will enable us to best support you in making the right decision for you and your future hopes and dreams.
We look forward to meeting you, learning about you, and helping you to be healthy and happy. To schedule an appointment you can call the West Coast Women's Reproductive Center at (818) 616-9277 or make an appointment online.