Many women who are not yet ready to have children choose to preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs. Although it hasn’t been around as long as embryo freezing, egg freezing is a strong option for many women and couples. Below, we will take a look at the basics of this procedure, as well as the costs associated with egg freezing.
Benefits of Egg Freezing
Egg freezing is a strong option for many women, including:
- Women who do not have a long-term partner – Many women in their 20s or 30s are not yet ready to have children, but fertility rates lower with age and the risk of miscarriage and birth defects increases. If these women do not yet have a partner with whom they know they would like to have children, egg freezing is an option.
- Cancer patients – Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy have the potential to render a person sterile or induce early menopause. There is no guarantee that a woman will still be able to have children naturally after completing treatment for cancer, but patients can boost their chances by freezing their eggs for use in future fertility treatments.
- Soldiers – Soldiers face the risk of serious pelvic injuries or other injuries that could make them unable to have children. For this reason, some soldiers choose to freeze their eggs before going on active duty.
- Preference not to freeze embryos – Some women have a long-term partner, but feel uncomfortable about the ethical implications of potentially creating more embryos than will be used in IVF. Egg freezing allows these women to preserve their fertility in a manner consistent with their personal beliefs.
Egg freezing is the most beneficial for women who are near their most fertile years. Generally, the woman’s eggs will be of higher quality the younger she is when she freezes them, and the chances of her having enough eggs to freeze are highest.
Costs Associated with Egg Freezing
Many women are concerned about the costs associated with egg freezing. IVF1 charges a $300 flat fee for egg freezing, plus $30 per egg. There are no storage fees for the first three months. After that, it costs $800 per year to store eggs. These fees are in addition to the costs to retrieve the eggs. If fertility drugs are used in the cycle, the cost of those drugs and monitoring fees will be in addition to the cost of egg freezing.
The other costs associated with egg freezing do not occur immediately, but typically years down the line, when the woman is ready to use her frozen eggs in fertility treatment. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is necessary to fertilize the eggs after freezing, and in addition, preparation of the uterus is needed to allow the embryos created to implant.
Getting Pregnant with Frozen Eggs
Embryo freezing is still considered the gold standard for fertility preservation. However, egg freezing is now much more effective than it was in the past. In fact, when controlling for the number and quality of eggs, studies show that frozen egg cycles are about as effective as IVF cycles using fresh eggs.
At the same time, it is important for patients to understand that there is no guarantee of getting pregnant with egg freezing – or even of the doctor collecting enough eggs which are suitable for cryopreservation. Fortunately, the majority of women do produce enough eggs to make the treatment worthwhile, and many of these women do get pregnant. Your doctor can discuss whether or not you are a good candidate for egg freezing with you.
Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to meet with you about whether or not egg freezing is right for you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call IVF1 at (603) 357-6540.