How the Egg Freezing Process Works

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Fertility preservation through the egg freezing process

At our Virginia fertility center, we have many patients who want to preserve their fertility. As a woman ages, the quality and quantity of her eggs begins to decrease. This can lead to an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage or birth defects. Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can also impair fertility. However, a woman can choose to undergo the egg freezing process to preserve her fertility.

The egg freezing process

Vitrification, or flash-freezing, at our Virginia fertility center begins with a comprehensive medical workup to make sure that a patient’s body is healthy enough for ovarian stimulation. We use blood tests to gauge her ovarian reserve (egg supply), which helps us determine the best medications for her. We prescribe medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce many mature eggs during a single cycle. Once our patient begins taking her medication, we continue the egg freezing process as follows.

  • We monitor the growth of her ovarian follicles via ultrasound.
  • When her eggs are nearly mature, we schedule a retrieval appointment.
  • While our patient is sedated, we use ultrasound guidance to retrieve the mature eggs.
  • We take the eggs to our laboratory where our technicians prepare them for vitrification.
  • Our technicians dehydrate the eggs and immerse them in cryopreserving solution to prevent damaging ice crystals from developing.
  • Once the eggs are prepared, we flash-freeze them. The freezing happens in under a minute, causing the eggs to be preserved in a glass-like state.

Once we’ve successfully frozen the eggs, we place them in secure storage facilities that maintain the necessary temperature. We will thaw them when the patient decides she wishes to access them to use as part of an IVF cycle.

Care and experience patients trust

Our Virginia fertility center was the first provider in the area to offer egg freezing, beginning in 2003. Our in-house fertility laboratory means that patients always know where their eggs are and can meet the people involved in making their fertility dream a reality. Our providers have decades of experience in the field and are dedicated to making constant improvements through research.

To learn more about the egg freezing process, please contact our office.