How Egg Freezing Works
If you’re not ready for parenthood, but want to keep your future options open, egg freezing can give you freedom and flexibility. At Evolve, we make the process safe, supportive, and seamless. Learn more about how it works below.
Egg Freezing – What to Expect
Step 1 ConsultationAs a first step, you’ll book a complimentary phone consultation with an Evolve nurse. Here, you can ask questions about egg freezing to help you decide if it is right for you.
Step 2 Fertility AssessmentIf you’re ready to start your egg freezing journey, you’ll schedule an in-depth consultation with an EVOLVE physician. Along with gathering your medical history, we’ll run various pre-treatment tests to get a picture of your fertility health. These may include:
- AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone): This gives us an idea of the number of eggs you have.
- FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone), and Estradiol: These hormones tell us information about your fertility status.
- AFC (Antral-Follicle Count): This measures the number of growing eggs in your ovaries on day 2, 3 or 5 of your cycle. Your AFC and AMH concentration help to predict how you will respond to the medication.
Step 3 Follow Up Appointment
After your pre-treatment tests, you and your Evolve physician meet to discuss your results, predict how many eggs you’re likely to get at egg collection and plan your unique stimulation cycle.
Your Evolve nurse shows you how to prepare and administer your medication, and reviews the consent forms. You’re never on your own to figure out the details; the Evolve team is with you every step of the way.
Step 4 Stimulation
Stimulation is the part of the process where you take medication to help your body produce eggs. Every person’s stimulation plan is unique and depends on age, pre-treatment test results, and pre-existing medical conditions.
A typical stimulation cycle may look like this:
- Baseline scan: Before beginning, we perform an ultrasound scan on your ovaries and uterus to make sure it’s the right time to start treatment.
- Down-regulation: You’ll take medication (often the contraceptive pill) to switch off your natural menstrual cycle. This allows us to be in control and plan each step of your treatment.
- Monitoring: After you have been on down-regulation medication for a few days, you’ll have another ultrasound and some blood tests too, to make sure you’re ready to start stimulation.
- Stimulation: Once your body is ready, stimulation encourages the follicles (the sacs in your ovaries that contain the eggs) to grow. You, or someone close to you, will need to administer your stimulation medication through daily injections (don’t worry — we’ll show you how).
- More Monitoring: While you’re in the stimulation phase, we’ll track your progress to make sure your follicles are responding. Depending on your results, your Evolve physician may tweak your dosage during this time.
- Stopping Ovulation: While you’re in the stimulation phase, we want to stop ovulation from occurring (to keep your eggs for collection and freezing). To do this, we’ll prescribe you a new medication to take a few days after stimulation starts.
- More Monitoring: As we get closer to your egg collection day, we keep a close eye on your follicle growth to make sure everything is progressing as it should.
- Trigger Injection: When your follicles reach the ideal stage of development, you’ll receive a trigger injection to mature your eggs so they’re ready for egg collection. We know it sounds intense, but don’t worry, it’s like getting a regular injection.
Step 5 Egg Collection
Approximately 36 hours after your trigger shot, you’ll head to Evolve for your egg collection. During this procedure, you’ll be under light sedation, and our expert team will extract the eggs from your ovaries using gentle aspiration. While this step may sound daunting, most patients report minor discomfort.
After your egg collection, it’s time to go home. While you don’t need to stay overnight, you will need someone to pick you up — after sedation, you’ll likely feel a little sleepy.
From there, you’ll rest and take it easy. You can return to normal activities when you feel ready. For most patients, it’s usually a day or two before they get back to their routine.
Step 6 Egg Freezing
Evolve’s trained embryologists will freeze all suitable, mature eggs through a rapid-freeze technique called vitrification.
Freezing your eggs with Evolve means you have access to innovative technology, such as Violet™. This is a revolutionary non-invasive technique that assesses each one of your eggs to predict the chance of successful fertilization and reaching the blastocyst stage.
Step 7 Follow up
After your egg collection, you’ll meet with your Evolve team to ensure your recovery is going well. You’ll review the success of the egg retrieval and the viability of your eggs. Some patients may decide to undergo another egg freezing cycle to increase their chances of future fertility. Others are content to complete only one.
Everyone is different, and your Evolve team is here to support you.
What Happens When I Want to Use My Eggs?
We will store your eggs onsite at our on-site 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 freeze them.
We recommend patients try to conceive naturally before opting to use their frozen eggs. If you have difficulties getting pregnant, your frozen eggs will be waiting.
When you’re ready to use your frozen eggs, you’ll begin preparing your body for an IVF cycle at our sister clinic, TRIO. You can read more about that process here.