Egg Freezing Program Extending Your Fertility
The decline in female reproductive potential starts in the early 20s and declines progressively until the mid to late 30s when a steep decline in fertility potential is noted. By the early forties, the decline is so steep that only a minority will conceive and deliver a healthy child. That translates into a higher proportion of women in their mid to late thirties having trouble conceiving. Many women are delaying childbirth secondary to career or economic considerations, thereby decreasing significantly their chances at future conception. That decline in reproductive potential cannot be reversed, however by freezing “younger” eggs, that decline may potentially be averted because the chances of getting pregnant are directly related to the “age” of the egg.
The human egg is extremely fragile and despite many years of research into ways to improve the survival of frozen eggs many issues remain. Unlike the human egg, freezing sperm and embryos are more resilient and freezing methods are proven to work. Because of the above, many single women in their 20s and 30s who do not have a stable partner are resorting to using donor sperm through insemination and/or IVF, and freezing resulting embryos. However, recent advances in freezing technologies have enabled us to freeze mature eggs with a excellent survival after thawing (> 90%) using a technique called vitrification. Now, women looking to freeze their eggs can do that and afford to wait for “Mr. Right” rather than being “forced” to use donor sperm, and thus effectively turning back the biological clock. These eggs can then be used years later when a husband or stable partner is identified.
Ideal Candidates For Egg Freezing
Egg freezing can be a viable option in following circumstances:
- Women who have recently been diagnosed with cancer which necessitates the use of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Candidates morally opposed to fertilizing more than a certain number of eggs
- Single women in their late 20s and early to late 30s who would like to have their eggs frozen
- omen with endometriomas (endometriosis within the ovaries), and those with recurrent ovarian cysts
- Women with a strong family history of early menopause or premature ovarian failure
Most women that currently freeze their eggs are aged 33-39, though in select situations we have frozen eggs on women at 40-41 depending on their ovarian reserve. It is estimated that women < 38 need 16 frozen eggs to have two children, and this number increases substantially as women age. For example, 42 yo women will need 50 frozen eggs to have two children.
We therefore strongly discourage women > 41 yo to freeze their eggs because of their poor egg yield to start with (and therefore poor survival chances after thawing and low chances at pregnancy) and the unrealistic number of eggs needed.
We have decreased our price for egg freezing to $9000 (includes storage for the first year but does NOT include medications).
Facts About Egg Freezing
ASRM no longer considers egg freezing experimental since there have been more than 1000 deliveries worldwide. Recent advances in freezing methods, such as vitrification, the method we have been using since 2003, have allowed for a better chance at survival of the frozen eggs, ultimately improving the odds for a pregnancy. We were the first Fertility Center in the Metro DC area to offer oocyte freezing in 2003. Many recent articles have been published in the lay press including the Atlantic in November 2012, where Dr Sharara is quoted.
Cryopreservation of Embryos and Intrauterine Transfer of Frozen-thawed Embryos
Embryos may be cryopreserved in an effort to maximize the chances of pregnancy from any one IVF treatment attempt and prevent wastage of embryos. It is now possible to achieve implantation and pregnancy rates with frozen-thawed embryos as high as those achieved with fresh embryos. Embryos are frozen at the blastocyst stage. Embryos after freezing are stored under liquid nitrogen at -196°C.