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Egg Freezing

Keep Your Options Open

Women are born with a finite number of eggs, most of which have already died by the time puberty starts. Female fertility peaks at age 27 years and then gradually declines thereafter. After the age of 35, egg reserve declines rapidly and conception becomes increasingly more difficult. Not only do women encounter decreasing egg reserve as they age, but they also experience significant declines in egg quality. Thus, even if a significant number of eggs remain in a woman who is in her late 30s, the majority of those will be abnormal and unable to produce a healthy child.

Many women are not ready to start a family during their peak fertility years but know they may want to have a family in the future. One option is to freeze eggs during the more favorable reproductive ages and use those eggs later, if needed. This option helps counteract the effect of aging on egg quantity and quality.

Who Should Consider Freezing Eggs?

Freezing eggs could be valuable for women in their early 30s who do not want to have a child right now, but may want to explore the possibility in a few years. Additionally, women with medical conditions which put them at risk for running out of eggs earlier than usual can also benefit from freezing eggs. This includes patients with:

  • Cancer requiring removal of the ovaries or treatment with chemotherapy
  • Ovarian tumors
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Recurrent ovarian cysts
  • A family history of premature ovarian insufficiency or Fragile X
  • Transgender patients transitioning female to male

When Should I Consider Freezing Eggs?

Egg freezing works best before a woman turns 35. This is because the majority of eggs are still of good quality. The later in life egg freezing is performed, the greater the number of eggs that will need to be frozen in order to counteract the effect of diminishing egg quality.

How Do I Go About Freezing My Eggs?

Egg freezing typically requires 2- 4 weeks following an initial evaluation with a fertility specialist. During this time, the patient's ovaries are stimulated with hormone shots in order to grow many eggs at one time. These eggs are then 'retrieved' while the patient is under light anesthesia. The eggs are evaluated under the microscope at the time of the egg retrieval and the mature eggs are vitrified and stored.

Statistics for Egg Freezing in Atlanta at ACRM

Egg freezing, also known as vitrification, has a 98% success rate for preserving the egg. Cycles using thawed eggs from egg donors result in an 85% survival rate, a 75% fertilization rate, and a 60% implantation rate. For women 35 years of age or younger, recent studies suggest that freezing 7-8 eggs gives a 60% chance for a baby later on, and 20 eggs gives a 90% chance.

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