Women’s fertility declines due to age and other factors
A woman’s fertility naturally declines beginning at the age of 30, then rapidly declines after the age of 35. By the age of 40, a woman’s chance for conceiving is less than 5% per month. This change is due to a decrease in the number of eggs a woman produces as well as a decline in the quality of those eggs.
In addition to age, other factors may lead to more rapidly declining infertility rates for some women. Some of these risk factors include a history of pelvic surgery, endometriosis, smoking, pelvic infections, chemotherapy, or a family history of early menopause.
Egg freezing can preserve eggs for the future
Fortunately, egg cryopreservation can pause (or suspend) these declines in fertility. Using a laboratory technique called “vitrification,” eggs can be safely frozen and stored for future use.
This procedure can be successful for patients up to 40 years of age. If you are considering this option, however, we recommend doing so as quickly as possible. The younger the patient is when freezing her eggs, the more likely she will become pregnant in the future.
Egg Cryopreservation Process
If you decide to cryopreserve your eggs, the first step is a consultation with one of our fertility experts. They will likely recommend several tests, including a sonogram and a blood test to determine your ovarian reserve, meaning how well your ovaries produce healthy eggs.
After testing, fertility stimulation hormones are typically taken for 10 days. The extraction itself is done in our office under anesthesia. Once the eggs are extracted, they’ll be cryopreserved by our expert lab technicians until you are ready to use them.
When the timing is right, you can start your family
When the timing is right for you to have a family, your eggs can be thawed and fertilized. The resulting embryos are then transferred into your uterus. The babies born from this technique are as healthy as any baby naturally conceived.