Your Complete Egg Freezing Guide
Nowadays, it can feel impossible to have it all. You may want children, but you also want to have a career, travel, take your time to find the right partner, and live life to its fullest while you’re young.
Time is precious, and with your biological clock, every minute counts. What if you could press pause?
The idea of having your eggs frozen can seem like a strange concept at first. You may have friends who have had their eggs frozen, or perhaps you’ve seen it in the news. But what does an egg freezing cycle involve? And how long will it take?
Read on below to get the answers to all your questions in EVOLVE’s complete guide to egg freezing.
What Tests Will I Need Before Freezing my Eggs?
Before you start your egg freezing cycle, we will use a variety of tests to assess your ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have). At the beginning of your menstrual cycle, we will perform three blood tests to give us important information about your egg number and quality:
- AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone). A high concentration of AMH suggests you have a good number of eggs.
- FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone). Raised levels of these hormones may suggest compromised fertility health.
- Estradiol. Used with your FSH and LH results to determine your egg quality.
- Antral Follicle count (AFC). Alongside your blood tests, your EVOLVE specialist will perform an ultrasound scan to look at your ovaries and uterus. During your ultrasound, we will perform an AFC, where the number of follicles in each ovary is assessed.
- Your AFC, along with your AMH concentration, will give your EVOLVE doctor important information about how you’re likely to respond to stimulatory drugs during your treatment.
What is Involved in an Egg Freezing Cycle at EVOLVE?
An egg freezing cycle will usually take around 2 weeks to be completed. At the beginning of your cycle, you will be given stimulatory drugs to encourage your ovaries to grow multiple egg-containing follicles. Your follicle development will be closely monitored by your EVOLVE medical team. When they are at the optimum stage of development, you will be given a trigger injection to ripen and mature your eggs.
36 hours after your trigger injection, you will attend the EVOLVE clinic for your egg collection. You will be put under light sedation and our expert team will recover the eggs from your ovaries through gentle aspiration. You will need someone to take you home after this procedure, as you will not be able to drive after your sedation. After egg collection, some patients feel ready to return to work the next day. Others need to take a couple of days’ rest. It’s always best to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
After your egg collection, our highly skilled EVOLVE laboratory team will freeze all suitable eggs for you. Your eggs will remain in storage until you are ready to use them. They will not decrease in quality while in storage.
When Should I Freeze My Eggs?
You’re born with all the eggs you will ever have. As time goes on your egg number falls, and by the age of 30, you only have around 10% of the eggs you had at birth.
It’s not just egg quantity that decreases with age, but egg quality too. We sat down with Dr. Sony Sierra, a leading fertility specialist based in Toronto, and asked why egg quality diminishes as we get older. She said that “the activity of follicles and therefore egg quality changes as time goes by, and with advancing age (over the age of 35), these changes can take place over 3-6 months.”
So, as we get older, our ability to produce healthy eggs decreases due to changes in our follicles. With increased age, more of your eggs will be aneuploid (have the wrong number of chromosomes in them) and are less likely to result in a healthy pregnancy.
So, when should you freeze your eggs?
The best time to freeze your eggs is thought to be between the ages of 25 and 37 as this is when your ovarian reserve is at its highest. Having said this, the earlier you can freeze your eggs, the better, as your egg quality will never be as high as it is today.
If you’re over the age of 37, don’t worry, egg freezing may still be an option. Speak to one of our EVOLVE specialists today to see how we can help preserve your fertility options.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Egg Freezing?
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with egg freezing. At EVOLVE, we like to be completely transparent with our patients, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision.
- A small percentage of patients will over-respond to stimulatory drugs and develop a condition called OHSS. OHSS can be serious if not treated quickly and appropriately.
- Your egg collection procedure is a surgery and in rare instances, some patients may have complications.
- The EVOLVE lab team has an impressive 88% egg-thaw survival rate. However, some patients’ eggs are more fragile than others and do not respond well to being frozen. In very rare cases, none of the eggs survive the freeze-thaw process.
- Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that your frozen eggs will result in a pregnancy. However, you will greatly improve your chances by using eggs frozen from your younger self.
Why Should I Freeze with EVOLVE?
EVOLVE is the first and only clinic in Canada devoted to egg freezing. Other fertility clinics focus on a wide variety of treatments and egg freezing may not be a routine procedure they perform. The outcome of this? Suboptimal freeze-thaw outcomes and a reduced patient experience.
Pause time on your fertility and speak to an EVOLVE specialist today!