Brunette student smiling in black and white blouse crossing arms with aqua and blue swirl

Egg Freezing Process: Everything You Should Know

What Is Egg Freezing?

As we age, the number and quality of our eggs start to deteriorate, decreasing our chances of getting pregnant.

It is estimated that on average, one in six Canadians experience infertility, according to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). Egg freezing allows us to extract eggs that are young and healthy, and store them in case there are fertility challenges later in life, and you need to explore In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Essentially, it enables you to be your own egg donor, if needed. A lot of people are delaying having children until later in life, and therefore rates of age-related infertility are naturally increasing in Canada.

Why Do People Freeze Their Eggs?

Egg freezing is a personal choice, and everyone has different reasons. Here are some common ones:

Finding “the one”: Rather than rushing into a relationship because the clock is ticking, you can take your time finding the person that’s right for you.

Careers, education, and other goals: Do you need more time to tackle your goals and break those glass ceilings before having little ones? You’ve got it!

Endometriosis: Some people with endometriosis may have to have their ovaries surgically removed. In this case, they can freeze their eggs before surgery and still conceive later.

Immunosuppressant medications: These medications could affect egg quality, so some people who have to take them choose to freeze their eggs before starting them.

Early menopause: For those with a family history of premature or early menopause, egg freezing can increase their chances of a healthy pregnancy.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can damage eggs, so some people freeze their eggs before treatment, giving them an increased chance of conceiving down the road.

Gender transition: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can impact ovulation and egg quality. Patients who are undergoing HRT can freeze their eggs, so they have the option of becoming pregnant later.

If you need to talk through any questions you have regarding egg freezing, reach out to an EVOLVE Nurse today.

Egg Freezing Process Timeline

Below, we’ll walk you through the process so you know exactly what to expect.

Meet With a Fertility Physician

Once you have had an initial phone consultation with an EVOLVE nurse and have decided to proceed with fertility testing, you’ll undergo tests that are timed around your menstrual cycle. These tests take 30-60 minutes to complete and assess your egg count, fertility health, and how you will respond to the ovarian stimulation medication. Following the tests, your results will be reviewed by a fertility physician who will then discuss the next steps with you.

Ovarian Stimulation 

Once your physician has an accurate picture of your fertility status, they’ll create a treatment plan which includes specific medications (tablets and injections). These medications stimulate the ovaries, helping them grow multiple egg-containing follicles. People usually take these medications for about 2 weeks. During this phase, your EVOLVE medical team will routinely monitor you with bloodwork and ultrasounds.

Once your follicles are developed, you will have a “trigger injection”. Sometimes referred to as a hormonal or trigger shot, this helps to mature the eggs and start the ovulation process so your eggs can be retrieved.

Egg Retrieval

Your egg retrieval appointment will be scheduled about 36 hours after your trigger injection. For this medical procedure, you will be under light sedation, and your expert medical team will retrieve your matured eggs from your ovaries.

Egg retrieval is a technique in which a long, thin needle is guided up into the ovaries, and eggs are removed using suction. The actual egg retrieval only takes about 20 minutes and then you will spend a couple of hours in the recovery room. 

Egg Freezing

Once the eggs are collected, our embryology team determines the quality of the eggs and freezes them using a rapid freezing method (vitrification). Then, they store them in nitrogen-filled tanks at sub-zero temperatures. These tanks are monitored constantly, and alarms notify the lab team if nitrogen levels ever get low. Your eggs will be stored in high-security vessels (HSVs) within the tanks and labelled with barcodes matching your medical chart.

Thanks to our in-house experts and the cutting-edge technology we use at EVOLVE, your eggs can be frozen indefinitely. So, as you age, your eggs won’t. Instead, they’ll maintain the same quality as the day they were frozen.

Benefit Of Freezing Eggs

Freezing your eggs at a younger age can offer several benefits for patients who are not ready to have children but want to preserve their fertility for the future. Here are some key advantages:

Preserving Fertility: Freezing eggs at a younger age preserves the quality of eggs at their peak. This means higher chances of success when these eggs are later used for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Over time, the quantity and quality of eggs decline, leading to increased difficulty in conceiving naturally.

Increased Pregnancy Success Rates: Younger eggs generally have a higher chance of successful fertilization and implantation, leading to higher pregnancy success rates when they are used in IVF procedures.  

Mitigating Age-Related Fertility Decline: Egg freezing at a younger age allows patients to bypass the effects of age-related decline in fertility. By preserving their younger eggs, they can potentially avoid the challenges associated with infertility that often come with advancing age.

Option for Delayed Childbearing: People may choose to freeze their eggs when they are younger to pursue education, career advancement, travel, or other personal goals without worrying about the biological clock. This provides a sense of freedom and control over the timing of parenthood.

Peace of Mind: Egg freezing can offer peace of mind to patients who are not ready to have children but want to keep the option open for the future. Knowing that their younger, healthier eggs are stored and available can reduce the anxiety associated with fertility decline.

Helping Maintain Relationship Dynamics: For people in relationships where their partners may not be ready for parenthood, freezing eggs can alleviate pressure and allow couples more time to align their desires for starting a family. This can lead to stronger relationship dynamics and better planning for the future.

Egg Freezing Risks

At EVOLVE, we want you to know the possible risks of egg freezing. Your physician will discuss these with you in detail so you can make the best decision for you.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): While uncommon, some patients develop OHSS from ovarian stimulation medications. Your expert medical team will monitor you closely to minimize any potential risks. It’s extremely rare for someone to become dangerously ill because of OHSS. 

Egg retrieval complications: Like any surgery, the procedure can have complications.

Egg-thaw survival rate: Some eggs are fragile and do not survive the freeze-thaw process. At EVOLVE, an average of 88% of eggs survive the thaw. 

No guarantee of pregnancy: We can’t guarantee that you will get pregnant using your frozen eggs, but it can greatly increase your chances.

Egg Freezing Cost

 At EVOLVE, we believe in transparency regarding our fees, ensuring that patients feel at ease and empowered. For clarity, below is a breakdown of the egg freezing costs:

First and foremost, the initial phone consultation with an EVOLVE nurse is entirely free of charge. 

If you have a valid OHIP card, the 1st in-person with a fertility physician is covered. 

The AMH testing carries a fee of $125 for fertility testing, with the remainder covered by OHIP.

Fertility medications, which are tailored to individual needs, typically range between $3,000 to $5,000 or more. Many extended health plans provide coverage for a portion of these medications.

The egg freezing cycle itself is priced at $8,600.

Regarding egg storage, patients have two options: pay $2,000 for a 5-year storage plan at the time of freezing or opt for $600 per year starting one year after the freezing process.

For further details on costs and available financing options, we encourage you to reach out to us today!

Post Egg Freezing Recovery

People usually take one day off to recover after their egg retrieval procedure. You may notice side effects such as bloating, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort during this time. While it’s rare, people have experienced swollen ovaries or other complications. Your EVOLVE team will discuss these possibilities in more detail.

If you’re ready to take control of your fertility and start your egg freezing journey at EVOLVE, contact us online or call 416-972-0121.


Is egg freezing painful?

Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval recovery could cause some minor and temporary discomfort. However, you’ll be placed under light sedation during the procedure to help you relax and feel comfortable.

What is the best age to freeze eggs?

The younger you are, the healthier your eggs will be. If you choose to freeze your eggs, we recommend doing so in your 20s or early 30s. But even if you’re over 35, success is still possible.

How do you prepare for egg freezing?

Practicing healthy habits, such as eating nutrient-dense meals, exercising, getting good quality sleep, and managing your stress levels, is important to help ensure healthy eggs. You also want to avoid alcohol, nicotine, pesticides, and other chemicals. Speak with your EVOLVE team to learn more