How Long Does
an Egg Freezing Cycle Take?
by Nurit Winkler M.D.
posted on April 13th, 2023
All posts by Nurit Winkler M.D.
What Is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a fantastic way for a patient to preserve their eggs for future use. But what is egg freezing, and how long does an egg freezing cycle take? Learn more about how an egg freezing cycle works at Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Encino, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, CA.
Egg freezing is a method of fertility preservation, During this process, eggs (ovum) are harvested from the ovaries, frozen at sub-zero temperatures, and stored for future use. When the patient is ready to use their eggs, the ovum is thawed, fertilized, and placed in the mother or surrogate's uterus during an IVF cycle.
Why Choose Egg Freezing?
There are a number of reasons why a patient may choose to preserve their eggs, including:
- Fertility Preservation: Patients may choose to preserve their eggs as a sort of fertility insurance policy.
- Medical Reasons: Patients with medical issues such as cancer may freeze their eggs to preserve fertility. Often, medical conditions or treatments such as chemo can cause fertility issues later.
- Personal or Ethical: For some patients, destroying unneeded embryos (fertilized eggs) is not an option for ethical or religious reasons. Egg freezing allows for an exact number of eggs to be fertilized during an IVF cycle without creating leftover embryos. Your eggs do not need to be fertilized before they are frozen, making this a great option for patients who want to preserve their fertility without creating excessive embryos.
What Does an Egg Freezing Cycle Look Like and How Long Does It Take?
This can vary by patient. Typically, an egg freezing cycle takes on average two to three weeks. Here is a look at a typical egg freezing cycle.
Your cycle begins on the first day of your menstrual cycle. You will visit our fertility clinic for routine blood tests, ultrasounds, and an exam to determine the right dosage for stimulation medication.
Around day two or three, you will begin ovarian stimulation with injectable medication. You will continue routine bloodwork and ultrasounds to monitor your follicle growth.
Around cycle day 14, a trigger shot is used to induce ovulation. This trigger shot is given precisely and timed with your appointment for egg retrieval.
Approximately 36 hours after your trigger shot, your egg retrieval will take place. You are sedated during this short procedure to ensure you are completely comfortable throughout the process. Mature eggs are then collected directly from the ovaries.
Once the eggs are collected, they are flash-frozen and then stored in subzero temperatures. These eggs can remain frozen for many years.
When you are ready to use your eggs, they are thawed and then fertilized during an IVF cycle.
Get Started Today
Egg freezing is a groundbreaking and popular fertility preservation method that can help women who wish to have children one day, but who aren’t quite ready to start their families. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, our team of fertility specialists is dedicated to helping our patients begin, build, and expand their families, as well as preserve their fertility for the future. Thinking about egg freezing or want to start the process? Give us a call or contact us online to request a consultation with one of our fertility experts. We have three locations to best serve you.
Los Angeles Office:
Nurit Winkler M.D.
- Double board-certified family planning specialist
- Patients' Choice 5th Anniversary Award Winner
- Compassionate Doctor Recognition Honoree
- Frequent Guest Lecturer & Guest Speaker