What Does the Egg Freezing Process Involve?

image of egg freezing processEggs can be frozen using several methods to ensure optimal results, including vitrification and slow-freezing in combination with cryoprotectants. At Fertility Center of San Antonio in San Antonio, TX, we use the most advanced techniques and technology during the egg freezing process to preserve your eggs and increase your chances of becoming pregnant in the future. Each step of the process requires meticulous detail and monitoring to minimize damage to the eggs and ensure they cool properly. When considering egg freezing, it is important to choose a clinician with extensive experience, technical expertise, and access to state-of-the-art equipment.

What to Expect During the Consultation

During your initial consultation, one of our specialists will perform an examination and series of tests, including blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound, to ensure if you have a healthy ovarian reserve. This assessment will also help your doctor determine the right dose of hormone-inducing medications to help stimulate the ovaries for egg retrieval.

Early Stages of Egg Freezing

The overall egg freezing process takes about four to six weeks and includes an initial consultation, ovulation induction, egg retrieval, and egg freezing. Once you have been deemed healthy enough to undergo this procedure, you can begin the ovulation induction process. During treatment, we can administer a series of hormone-inducing injections and medications, including FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), Menopur®, Lupron®, or Cetrotide®. These medications can help your ovaries produce a healthy number of mature eggs, while also preventing premature ovulation.

The overall egg freezing process takes about four to six weeks and includes an initial consultation, ovulation induction, egg retrieval, and egg freezing. 

During the process, we will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to perform blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds. These tests will ensure your body is responding well to the hormone stimulants and help us to determine when we should begin the egg retrieval process.

The Egg Retrieval Process

Once your eggs are mature, we can retrieve the eggs from your uterus. Before the procedure, we can administer anesthesia for your comfort. Once you are ready, your doctor can access your ovaries through the vagina, using ultrasound technology as a guide. Using a thin needle, we can retrieve multiple eggs at once. The entire process takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

Most patients can return to normal activity within a week, but you may experience mild to moderate cramping, pressure, and light spotting for a few weeks after the procedure. To minimize symptoms, you should rest, apply a heating pad, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter pain medication as needed. Due to the heightened level of your hormones, you have a greater chance of conceiving during this time. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy, you should avoid having unprotected sex.

Method Used to Freeze Eggs

Immediately following the egg retrieval process, one of our specialists will combine cryoprotectants with the harvested eggs to ensure the biological makeup of the eggs is maintained, while also preventing ice crystals from developing during egg freezing. The eggs will then be frozen using:

  • Slow-Freezing: Using this method, we can apply a lower concentration cryoprotectants and slowly reduce the temperature of the eggs over a period of two to three hours.
  • Vitrification: Using this method, we can apply a high concentration of cryoprotectants and rapidly cool the eggs. The entire process takes about 15 minutes.

If you have additional questions about the process, our team would be happy to assist you in a private consultation. 

Learn More

Our team at Fertility Center of San Antonio is committed to using the most advanced techniques to help you achieve a healthy pregnancy when the time is right. To learn more about the egg freezing process, and whether this treatment is right for you, contact us online or call us at (210) 692-0577 and schedule your consultation.

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