Thursday, July 18, 2024
Banner Top

Over the past years, egg freezing as a topic has garnered attention in the media, online, and in the workplace. Given its relative novelty, it is understandable that many women have questions about egg freezing Newport Beach, including what it is, when to consider it, and how it works. Below are important facts about egg freezing that will give you more insight.

Egg freezing is a fertility preservation method

Egg freezing may be an option if you are not ready to become pregnant but want to get a child later. Unlike embryo cryopreservation, egg freezing does not require sperm because the eggs are frozen unfertilized. But, like embryo freezing, you will need to take fertility drugs to ensure that you produce multiple eggs for retrieval during ovulation. Below are some of the reasons why you may consider egg freezing.

  • You need cancer treatment which can compromise your fertility. Certain cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy can affect your ability to get pregnant. Freezing your eggs before undergoing such treatments might enable you to have biological children.
  • You are undergoing in vitro fertilization. Some people prefer egg freezing to embryo cryopreservation when undergoing IVF for religious or ethical reasons.
  • You have a circumstance or condition that can affect your fertility. Sickle cell anemia and autoimmune diseases like lupus can affect your fertility. Being transgender is also a reason for you to freeze your eggs.
  • You wish to preserve your eggs when younger to help you get pregnant when you are ready.

Egg freezing carries some risks

Knowing the risks associated with egg freezing is vital for anyone considering this procedure. As mentioned above, you will use fertility drugs to produce multiple eggs before egg retrieval. Although rare, inducing ovulation using injectable fertility drugs like follicle-stimulating or luteinizing hormone can result in ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This is whereby your ovaries become swollen and painful soon after ovulation or egg retrieval. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome causes abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. A more severe form of this complication can be life-threatening.

The use of an aspirating needle during the egg retrieval process can cause infection, bleeding, and damage to nearby organs, including the bladder, bowel, or a blood vessel. It is also important to know that egg freezing provides hope for future pregnancy, but there is no guarantee of success.

The process is intense

Other than the actual freezing process, egg freezing involves other steps, including ovarian stimulation and retrieval. For ovarian stimulation, you will take synthetic hormones to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs instead of one egg that usually develops monthly. Your doctor will monitor you throughout treatment and may recommend blood tests to measure your response to ovarian stimulation medications. As the follicles mature, estrogen levels increase, and progesterone levels remain low until after ovulation.

You will also have follow-up visits that may include having a vaginal ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create images of the inside of your ovaries, allowing your provider to monitor the development of the follicles. Once the follicles are ready for egg retrieval, generally after 10 to 14 days, an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin can help the eggs mature. The next visit will be for the egg retrieval process; this is usually done under sedation, typically in a clinic or your doctor’s office.

If you are considering egg freezing, consult your specialist at OC Fertility®.