Blog - Top 5 Things to Know About Egg Freezing – Grace Fertility

Top 5 Things to Know About Egg Freezing

March 14, 2024

By Dr. Ghadeer Akbar

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There's a lot of information out there on egg freezing, which can be hard to wade through. Our fertility specialist, Dr. Ghadeer Akbar, has distilled the 5 most important things to know when considering this method of fertility preservation.

1. Freezing eggs "stops" the biological clock.

Whether you are spending your 20s and 30s climbing the corporate ladder or simply focusing on other things before becoming a parent, "stopping" the biological clock by freezing your eggs preserves your fertility for years to come. The best part? Any eggs your freeze now will have the same reproductive potential as when they were frozen. So, if you decide to attempt pregnancy at age 40 using eggs you had frozen at age 28, you will be using eggs preserved at a time when they were at their healthiest, giving you higher chances of success.

There are many different reasons to consider egg freezing, but all of them allow you to pause the biological clock and preserve your current fertility. For example, freezing eggs can take some pressure off of your relationships. As we get older, it’s common to start thinking about your timeline for building a family, and sometimes this can strain relationships or cause stress around choosing a partner and settling down. Maybe your current partner isn't certain if they even want children. Perhaps you want to enjoy dating without added pressure of finding a future co-parent. Or maybe you are already in a relationship but want to enjoy more time as a couple before pursuing parenthood. Having your eggs frozen allows you to focus on the present moment instead of feeling rushed to try to conceive before you feel ready.  

Egg freezing is also an important consideration for those facing cancer or gender transitions. You can protect your future family-building options before undergoing gender-affirming hormone therapies or procedures, or before beginning life-saving treatments (i.e. chemotherapy/radiation) that could impact your fertility. 

2. The more eggs you freeze, the better the odds.

We recommend freezing 10-15 eggs per planned pregnancy. However, there are additional considerations to keep in mind, like the number of mature eggs your doctor is able to retrieve, your chosen fertility clinic's success rates, among others. Many patients undergo more than one cycle to increase their odds of having enough "good eggs" to achieve pregnancy in the future. The number of egg freezing cycles you'll need depends on a few factors.

- Your age

- Your desired family size

- Your baseline ovarian reserve

- Your body's response to ovarian stimulation

The bottom line: the more eggs you freeze, the better your odds are.

3. The earlier you freeze your eggs the better - but it's never too late.

To give yourself the highest chances of success, we typically recommend freezing your eggs in your late 20s or early 30s. Any time before age 35 is optimal, but fertility preservation at any age is better than no fertility preservation at all!  

While egg freezing doesn't guarantee your future fertility, it does allow you to preserve your current egg quality and quantity, which can give you more family-building options when you decide you're ready to have children. 

4. There are 5 stages to egg freezing.

The 5 phases are: 1. Consultation and diagnostic testing. 2. Ovarian stimulation and monitoring. 3. Egg retrieval. 4. Cryopreservation (freezing) and 5. Thawing and fertilizing those eggs to achieve a pregnancy. Learn more here.

The timeline from your initial consultation with a physician to starting your egg freezing cycle is typically around 6-8 weeks. This doesn't take into account any time you may have to wait for an available appointment - so schedule it sooner rather than later! 

The egg freezing process itself only takes around 2-3 weeks. Depending on the urgency of your situation, your fertility clinic may be able to fast-track certain aspects if you are facing a cancer diagnosis and need to begin treatment as soon as possible.  

5. Egg freezing puts YOU in charge of your fertility future.

You have “sole custody” over your frozen eggs. This means that they are your biological property, regardless of what happens in the future. This is different than creating embryos (when the sperm is not from a sperm donor), since the male partner has a say in what happens to those embryos in the future. Freezing your eggs protects your ability to start a family when you want.  

There are many different reasons to consider egg freezing, but all of them allow you to pause the biological clock and preserve your current fertility. Being able to protect your future fertility is an empowering choice that can relieve pressure, lower stress, and increase your chances of family-building success on your own personal timeline. Explore your options, ask questions, and take charge of your fertility future!

Elective Egg Freezing

Learn more about when it's the right time to freeze your eggs and how the egg freezing process works.

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