Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a process that allows women and people with ovaries to preserve their fertility for future use. This innovative procedure has become increasingly popular as it offers the opportunity to delay motherhood for various reasons, including career advancement, personal goals, or health conditions.
Egg freezing is an option for people who want or need to delay childbearing. This could be due to educational pursuits, career objectives, or other personal goals. Additionally, women and people with ovaries diagnosed with cancer or other health conditions affecting their fertility may also consider egg freezing. It's important to note that egg freezing does not guarantee a future baby but provides an option for people who wish to preserve their fertility.
The egg freezing process involves several steps. First, fertility testing and assessment are conducted to determine if egg freezing is appropriate. This is followed by ovarian stimulation, where hormone injections are administered to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs. The eggs are then retrieved through a minor surgical procedure under ultrasound guidance. Once collected, the eggs are vitrified, a rapid freezing process, and securely stored until the person is ready to use them.
To learn more about the egg freezing process in detail, read What does the egg freezing process look like?
Egg freezing is generally considered safe. However, like any medical procedure, there can be side effects. These may include mood swings, hot flashes, headaches, nausea from the hormone injections, bloating, cramping, or mild pain after the retrieval procedure.
The cost of egg freezing can vary depending on several factors, including the fertility clinic, the number of cycles needed, and whether any financial aid or insurance coverage is available. Costs can be divided into several phases: consultation, pre-treatment tests and scans, medication, egg retrieval, the egg freezing process itself, and storage of eggs until use.
Egg freezing is a significant advancement in reproductive medicine, allowing women and people with ovaries to preserve their fertility for the future. While it's not a guarantee of a future pregnancy, it provides an option for those who are not ready to conceive now but may wish to in the future.