Fertility Specialists Answer Your Egg Freezing Questions
You asked, and we answered!
After over a year, and 800 nurse consults we feel pretty confident in knowing what patients want to ask about egg freezing. We took your questions to our fertility experts and had our nurse specialists, doctors, embryologists, blood lab team and ultrasound technicians provide answers to your most frequently asked questions.
What is fertility testing?
- A series of blood tests and an ultrasound to determine your current fertility status.
- Most tests are covered under OHIP with the exception of the AMH blood test ($108)
- This is done at EVOLVE and takes between 30-60 minutes.
How does the clinic determine if you’re a suitable candidate for egg freezing?
- There are many factors that determine your suitability:
- Undergo fertility testing
- From there you will have a consultation with a reproductive doctor (REI) to discuss your unique results and circumstances.
- At that point, the doctor will be able to give you some statistics on how successful your freezing cycle may be based on people with similar fertility results as you.
What medications are (most commonly) involved in the process?
- H-CG plus Suprefact (trigger shot)
How much does it cost for egg freezing and what does it include?
- The cost of egg freezing varies clinic by clinic.
- At EVOLVE the pricing for the treatment is all-inclusive for the protocol testing, procedure, and one year of storage.
- Fertility drugs needed are calculated separately
- Costs: Egg freezing $8600, Medications $3000-$5000, Storage $400-$600/year after year. View more details on our fees page.
Is there a cost-saving if more than one cycle is required?
- If you wish to undergo another freezing cycle within 6 months of the first the cost is $7000 plus medication.
Will you have a direct clinic contact for questions you might have during the egg freezing process?
- At EVOLVE you will have access to our specialized nursing team for the duration of your treatment.
Are cycles batched? (This would mean designated days for egg freezing in the clinic).
- At EVOLVE we work on YOUR timeline. Since we are a 100% egg freezing clinic, the only patients you are coming into contact with are going through the same process as you.
- You can book appointments and schedule your start date around your own schedule.
When does morning monitoring start?
- The clinic is open 7-10am.
- You can book your appointment around your own schedule.
- When you decide to begin your protocol you will contact your nurse on day 1 of your cycle.
- From there your unique protocol created by your doctor will be followed. This will dictate what day you will be starting your medication and which days you will be doing blood and ultrasound monitoring.
What injections are involved and how many?
- Each protocol is unique to the patient.
- Your protocol will determine your drugs, quantity and timing.
- Before you begin, a pharmacist specializing in fertility medication will train you on how to administer your medication.
- You will also have access to “how to” injection videos.
- You will need to do this for approximately 2 weeks.
Who completes your (ultrasound) scans?
- Your ultrasound scans (US) are completed in-house at EVOLVE by a certified reproductive US technician.
- We are a boutique clinic and you will find that most days you will have the same technician over the course of your two week cycle.
Who performs the egg retrieval? (Will it be your doctor or the doctor that day?)
- In 99% of cases your REI (doctor) will be performing the retrieval.
- Should your retrieval fall on an unexpected day and your doctor cannot be present, one of the other EVOLVE REIs will step in to do the retrieval. You will be made aware ahead of your procedure.
What happens during the egg retrieval?
- On the day of the retrieval, you are asked to come to the clinic an hour before the procedure to prepare.
- Before the retrieval, you will be put under a local anesthetic and a sedation medication to keep you comfortable.
- The retrieval will take 20-30 min.
- After you will be taken to your own recovery bay for approximately 1 hour.
- After 1 hour you are able to go home accompanied by your support person.
- The entire process takes 2-3 hrs.
How soon after this process can you resume your regular activities?
- Most people take the day after a retrieval off to recover at home and return to work a day later. You may feel tired and bloated and a bit uncomfortable from the medication and procedure.
- Side effects may include: Swollen ovaries (rare), bloating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, or egg retrieval complications (rare).
What is the lab’s previous experience in freezing eggs?
- While our clinic is new, our parent lab is one of the oldest and most respected labs in the country.
- We were one of the first labs in the country to do egg freezing and have been freezing eggs, using the vitrification method, for over 10+ years.
Does the clinic have thaw rates for frozen eggs, pregnancy rates, and live birth rates from previous patients?
- EVOLVE has a 91% thaw rate.
- Your IVF success rate depends on the age at which you freeze your eggs (a younger age yields better results), and the experience of the clinic in which you undergo your IVF cycle.
- EVOLVE does not do IVF. Your IVF rates will be dependent on your IVF clinic of choice.
Where are the eggs stored?
- Your eggs are stored in-house at EVOLVE, in specialized steel tanks.
- The tanks are self-contained and are filled with liquid nitrogen.
- The levels of nitrogen are monitored daily and filled weekly.
- There are two alarms to indicate if these levels ever get low.
What happens to the frozen eggs during a power outage?
- The tanks are self-contained and only require nitrogen in order to keep the eggs frozen; there is no issue with a power outage.
- The dual alarms for levels and temperature regulation do run on power, but there is a backup generator in case of power failure.
How are the eggs identified?
- Eggs are stored in high security vessels (HSV), or “straws”. Before being placed in the straws the eggs are tripled checked by the doctor, nurse and lab technician, against your patient chart. Your chart and the HSV each have a unique barcode.
Are the eggs monitored at all times?
- Yes, with a double alarm
What is the max duration that the eggs can be stored?
- Eggs can be stored indefinitely.
What do I do when I want to use my eggs?
- Your eggs will be stored onsite in our lab using the highest level of safety and security standards. It’s one of the most sophisticated in Canada, so you know that when the time comes, your eggs will be as good as the day you froze them.
When you’re ready to use your frozen eggs, you’ll begin preparing your body for an IVF cycle at our parent clinic, TRIO, or another clinic of your choosing.
These questions will help you and your doctor decide how to reach your own future family goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss today.