Egg Freezing FAQs
When is the best age to freeze my eggs?
When patients ask this question, it is best answered in 2 parts. From a medical point of view, the ideal age for egg freezing is probably under 35 years of age. The general rule with eggs is, the younger the better.
In reality, the best time to freeze eggs depends on many other factors than just age. A person’s relationship situation, financial status, ideological beliefs, family and medical history and much more. With this in mind, patients throughout their 30’s and early 40’s decide to freeze their eggs.
Patients over 35 understand that older eggs may have lower success potential, but by that same logic, any eggs frozen now will have higher success than those frozen later.
How many eggs do I need to freeze?
This is one of the most important questions to ask and one of the most challenging to answer. The biggest limitation of egg freezing is the inability to know the quality and chromosome content of the future embryo that an egg will become. As a result, it is difficult to know how many eggs an individual may need to produce to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Initial estimates of 20 eggs or more have been suggested, however at Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we understand that each patient is an individual and. Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler estimate how many eggs a patient may need, based on her individual characteristics like age, ovarian reserve, personal desires and more.
Can egg freezing assure a pregnancy in the future?
While egg freezing has come a long way in the last few years, there is no guarantee that any number of frozen eggs will be enough to assure a viable embryo/pregnancy. Accumulating data on egg freezing are encouraging, in that success rates approach those of fresh (non-frozen eggs) IVF, but considering the number of non-egg related variables that go into a pregnancy (sperm, uterus, overall health etc.) it is impossible to make guarantees.
Is it safe to freeze eggs?
In general, yes. One of the most common concerns is that the freezing/ thawing process can damage an egg or potentially affect the health of a child. Studies that have been conducted on hundreds of children born from egg freezing cycles have not shown any increase in the number of problems compared to other kids born through the IVF process. Further, studies on frozen embryos, of which there is considerably more experience, support these findings as well. Moreover, safety was one of the factors considered when the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommended to no longer classify egg freezing as an “experimental” procedure.
How long can eggs be kept frozen?
Keep in mind that most egg freezing has been completed since 2012. However, based on experience with frozen embryos, we believe that once eggs are frozen, they can remain that way for many years. Frozen embryo data indicate that eggs can remain viable for 10-15 years or more. The quality of frozen eggs should not significantly decline over the years.
How can I use my eggs in the future?
When a woman is ready to use her eggs, she will undergo a “frozen egg cycle.” Over a 2-week period, the patient’s uterus will be prepared (naturally or with hormone medication) for embryo transfer. At a specified time (based on the patient’s cycle) all or some of the eggs are thawed and fertilized with selected sperm, usually through intra cytoplasmic sperm injection” (ICSI). The resulting embryo(s) are cultured in the laboratory for the next 5 days at which point they can be tested with PGD and or transferred into a uterus under ultrasound guidance. Nine days later a blood test for beta HCG confirms that a pregnancy has begun.
If I decide never to use my eggs what can I do with them?
If a woman decides not to use her eggs, she can determine, at any time, if the eggs should be discarded, donated to another couple or donated for research.
How long does an egg freezing cycle take?
An egg freezing cycle usually begins on the second or third day of the period and takes on average 12-14 days to complete. For women who have a busy schedule and would like to freeze their eggs during a particular week/time of the year, the physicians at the Los Angele Reproductive Center are accustomed to manipulating cycles so that they can accommodate a patient’s schedule.
Is egg freezing painful?
The egg freezing cycle is usually not painful. While a lot goes into a cycle and some patients report feeling stressed and emotional, most patients do not report pain as a significant issue. Drs. Winkler and Kalan draw on their experience with egg freezing to help set appropriate expectations for their patients. When people know what to expect, the process tends to go smoother and be associated with less negative emotions. In fact, one of the most common comments of egg freezing patients at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center is that the experience was “not as bad” as anticipated.
How much does egg freezing cost?
The overall cost of egg freezing will depend on a patient’s insurance coverage, the amount of medication needed, the number of cycles required and more. At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we are dedicated to maintaining fair, competitive and transparent prices. Our financial department will be able to provide you with different options and prices for the egg freezing cycle.
When a woman is considering egg freezing, the first step is to schedule an appointment with the exceptional reproductive endocrinologists, Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan, at Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Los Angeles, California. The consultation is designed to educate and answer individual questions. In addition, patients will learn about the quantity and quality of existing eggs in an effort to determine the right treatment plan. To schedule a consultation contact us at (818) 946-8051, we will be happy to help you.