With the coming of Spring, the feeling of rebirth is in the air and it may shift your focus to building your future family. Keep in mind, a woman’s fertility and the quality of her eggs lessens as she ages. So, if having your own biological child is something you know you want someday, or you just want to keep your options open, take the time to find a qualified fertility clinic and gather information.
Who Should Freeze Their Eggs?
If you’re a woman that’s 35 or older, it is a chance to stop your ‘maternal clock’ and gain fertility freedom. You can choose to focus on your education or your career. You may want to gain back time after a breakup or just say no to ‘panic partnering’ with Mr. Wrong. Perhaps you seek to travel the world. Preserving your fertility before cancer treatments or radiation therapy is advised. Or you may wish to avoid passing on genetic diseases that run in your family with future PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidies) and IVF. So, if one or more of these things applies to you, then you are a good candidate.
Why? To Ensure Maximum Egg Quality
In terms of egg quality, today is always better than tomorrow. As you age – and even before you notice the physical signs of aging – egg quality deteriorates. The process begins around age 30, with a marked drop-off in egg quality after 35. Further complicating matters is the fact that the number of eggs you have available will also decrease as you age. This phenomenon, known as diminished ovarian reserve, means fewer eggs available to you in the future and these eggs may also be lower quality.
Use a Qualified Fertility Clinic
More and more options for Egg Freezing are popping up as its popularity grows. But some locations only focus on Egg Freezing and not implanting viable embryos that result in actual babies. If using your eggs is a real possibility, use a fertility clinic you would go to for implantation/IVF. Freezing eggs is one thing, sustaining their ability to be fertilized and grow into viable babies, is entirely another. IVF success rates matter.
When? The Earlier the Better
Age 30-35 is ideal but because as a 37-year-old you are facing a more rapid decline in egg quality, you are more likely to use your eggs. Having your eggs ready-to-go may lesson your need to ‘panic partner’ when you’re ready to become a parent. In the case where you are going through medical treatments that may alter your egg quality, we highly recommend freezing and more and more of the time fertility preservation is covered by insurance.
How? Hormone Treatments, Monitoring, and an Outpatient Procedure
Before your eggs can be frozen, your doctor will prescribe hormone treatments designed to increase your egg output. You normally produce only one mature egg per month, but these medications will help your body produce multiple eggs. Birth control is often used to synchronize your egg production before starting hormone treatments. Your egg production will be monitored closely with ultrasounds and blood tests so your retrieval day is timed correctly.
On the day of your egg retrieval, you’ll be sedated. An anesthesiologist will make sure you are asleep during the procedure, while a fertility doctor will retrieve your eggs from your ovaries through your vaginal walls. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and is extremely safe. Plan on the appointment taking about two hours total. For most patients, it is quick and painless, and you’ll be back to normal activities the following day.
What happens to your eggs once they are retrieved is highly important as eggs are fragile and complex cells. Our clinic relies on a newer technology called vitrification.
Vitrification is the process of freezing so rapidly that the water molecules do not have time to form ice crystals and instead instantaneously solidify into a glass-like structure. We are highly skilled at this process to where it is 99%+ effective. At Overlake Reproductive Health, we are a freeze-all clinic meaning we only do frozen cycles of IVF because it gives our patients a higher chance of success. With the highest live birth success rates in WA for patients under 35, we really are experts at freezing.
Add a Baby to Your Future
Think of Egg Freezing as the first part of IVF and a way to increase your chances of having your own biological children. Some patients go through the process more than once to acquire the desired egg count of 15, especially if they know they want more than one child. While it is not a guarantee of a future family, it does ensure you’ll have the best chance of success when you’re ready for a child.
To schedule an appointment, or find out more information, call 425-646-4700.