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Are There Egg Freezing Side Effects?

Egg freezing offers the potential to delay having a family until years later — or simply provide the option to do so if you’re unsure right now. This empowering choice allows you to take back control of your fertility. However, before committing, you may wonder if there are any side effects.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential ovarian stimulation side effects and risks — giving you the knowledge you need to determine if this is the right decision for you.

Ovarian Stimulation Side Effects

The egg freezing process involves stimulating the ovaries to produce as many mature, quality eggs as possible. As such, it involves self-administered injections and other oral medications (usually as tablets).

During a normal menstrual cycle, 11-20 follicles (the sacks that contain eggs) begin to grow, but only one matures completely and releases an egg. Yet, with egg freezing medications — which vary depending on each individual and their treatment plan — the goal is to obtain as many eggs as we can. This means that the ovaries become much more enlarged compared to a regular menstrual cycle, and this can lead to various side effects such as:

  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Mild abdominal pain

Your egg freezing team will also advise you to avoid certain forms of exercise during this process. For instance, heavy weightlifting or vigorous workouts, particularly ones that involve twisting or bending the torso, can lead to ovarian torsion — which may cut off the blood supply to the ovaries and lead to other complications.

Mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can occur and would include symptoms such as temporary bloating and weight gain because of fluid retention. Severe cases are rare and would require immediate medical attention. At EVOLVE, we closely monitor for OHSS throughout the cycle and conduct follow up testing to ensure the ovaries are settling down after the procedure.

Egg Freezing Injections Side Effects

After your initial consult and tests, the egg freezing process typically involves 10-14 days of self-administered injections. These medical injections mimic the follicle-stimulating hormone, helping grow multiple follicles in the ovaries.

At this stage, the side effects of egg freezing medication are the same as the ovarian stimulation side effects above. After these initial injections and approximately 36 hours before your egg retrieval procedure, you will administered an ovulation trigger shot. This trigger shot acts similar to the luteinizing hormone (LH) and works to mature the eggs, before they are retrieved by your doctor.

The most common side effects associated with this trigger shot include:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach or pelvic pain
  • Tenderness at the injection site

Again, in rare cases, OHSS may develop. This often differs from normal side effects and can include pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If this occurs, it’s important to notify your egg freezing team. If your symptoms are severe, again, it’s crucial to seek out immediate medical attention.

Egg Freezing Weight Gain (Temporary)

Temporary and mild weight gain may also happen during the egg freezing process because of water retention and bloating.

Usually, any weight gained dissipates after your egg retrieval recovery. So, how long is the recovery process afterward?

Egg Retrieval Recovery

While many people return to work the following day after the egg retrieval process, it’s always important to listen to your body in the days and weeks that follow. Many women report feeling slightly more tired and bloated than usual. You also may have some light spotting or bleeding after the procedure.

Due to the enlargement of the ovaries, it’s further recommended to continue to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy weightlifting for about a week or two afterward. Typically, most symptoms fully resolve after your next period.

Egg Freezing Long-Term Side Effects

The good news is that most egg freezing side effects are temporary. There is no evidence indicating long-term side effects. As mentioned above, typically, many women report everything being back to normal by the onset of their next menstrual cycle (or day one of their next period).

Egg Freezing Risks

As with all medical procedures, egg freezing comes with a few risks, including:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): Again, this is very rare, but some patients may develop OHSS because of the ovarian stimulation medications. As such, throughout the process, your medical team monitors the ovaries closely to ensure any risk is minimized.
  • Egg retrieval procedure complications: The egg retrieval procedure itself involves some risks. Similar to any surgery, complications are possible, yet rare.
  • Egg survival rates: We try to retrieve as many eggs as we can because some eggs may not survive the freezing and thawing process. At the same time, EVOLVE is proud to have an average of 88% egg survival after freezing and thawing.
  • Pregnancy is not guaranteed: While freezing your eggs can provide the opportunity to start a family later on, there is no guarantee that pregnancy will occur. However, freezing your eggs may significantly increase your chances if you decide to conceive down the road and can benefit from using your frozen eggs.

At EVOLVE, our team works hard to minimize any risks or complications during this process. Ultimately, we want to empower you to live your life to the fullest without limitations regarding your reproductive timeline.

For more information regarding our egg freezing services, speak to an EVOLVE nurse. Our caring and knowledgeable team will answer all your questions and concerns so that you can make the right decision for you and your life.


What is the biggest risk of egg freezing?

The biggest risk of egg freezing is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Yet, it’s important to note that this syndrome is very rare.

How long does it take to recover from egg freezing?

Immediately after the egg freezing procedure, you may experience some pain and cramps that should subside within a few hours or days. The best thing you can do is to stay attuned to your body; everyone responds differently to the medications and procedures. Some may feel back to themselves after only a few days, while others may need a week or two to recover fully. Most individuals return to work the day after their procedure.

Does egg freezing have emotional side effects?

For some, the egg freezing medication may cause mood swings. Some patients may also experience fatigue, which may temporarily impact your mood or mental health.