Egg Freezing: Everything You Need to Know About This Hot Trend
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a procedure in which a woman’s eggs are extracted from the ovaries, flash-frozen, and stored for later use. Over the past few years, egg freezing has become increasingly common among women who are looking for a way to take control of their fertility and lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more popular, as more women are having time to reflect and think about their goals for the future.
Reasons to Freeze Your Eggs
Some of the most common reasons women use egg freezing and fertility preservation are related to medical issues. For example, women with cancer who need chemotherapy or women with conditions that impact fertility.
In recent years, many women have started freezing their eggs simply because they want to, also known as social egg freezing. Many women who pursue social egg freezing do so because they are not ready for a child at the present moment but are interested in the possibility later on. The motivations behind social egg freezing are numerous and include:
- Wanting to build your career before starting a family
- Finding the right partner to create a family with
- Pursuing academic achievements
- Accomplishing personal goals
- Taking control of the infamous “ticking biological clock”
How Does Egg Freezing Work?
The first step is undergoing ovarian reserve testing, which will determine the quantity and quality of your eggs. Next, you will be given self-injectable medications that stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Over this period of time, which usually lasts 10-14 days, you’ll receive blood tests and ultrasounds to help your doctor determine the retrieval date. Once a date is set, you’ll receive a “booster shot” of hormones to help the eggs mature.
The egg retrieval procedure will take place at the clinic and is completed within 15 minutes. Patients are put under light sedation, so no pain is felt. After the eggs are collected, patients are monitored for a few hours to ensure all is well. While light spotting and abdominal cramping may be experienced, most patients feel fine a day or so after the egg retrieval procedure.
After the eggs are retrieved, they are frozen and stored in a laboratory facility until you are ready to use them. When you’re ready, the eggs will be thawed without any damage.
Talk to a Specialist Today
Egg freezing is an exciting option for women who are looking to take control of their fertility and future. To learn more about egg freezing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, contact Washington Fertility Center today.