Egg freezing makes future parenthood possible

For many women, parenthood is a goal, but it’s increasingly common for women to postpone having children for personal reasons. Some women are focused on education, careers or travel, while others are still waiting to meet the partner of their dreams. In other cases, women must first overcome medical issues that could affect their fertility. Egg freezing makes it possible for women to achieve fertility preservation by storing some of their eggs now, in case they need them in the future. Our Central California fertility specialists encourage all women who wish to delay parenthood to explore this option.

How does egg freezing work?

You’ve probably heard the term “biological clock” to refer to women’s fertility window. While many women assume they have plenty of time to get pregnant later in life, the truth is that it’s harder to conceive after age 35. That’s because women are born with a finite egg supply, which naturally diminishes as they move closer to menopause. By the time most woman reach their mid-30s, the quantity and quality of available eggs begin to drop off dramatically.

Egg freezing is a process in which our Central California fertility specialists collect and store some of a woman’s eggs while the supply is still plentiful and more eggs are genetically healthy. This process is similar to IVF, but the eggs are cryopreserved to be fertilized later, if needed.

  • The woman takes fertility medications that prevent ovulation and make the ovaries develop multiple eggs at once.
  • Once these eggs are mature, our skilled reproductive endocrinologists removes them in a simple outpatient procedure under light anesthesia.
  • The eggs are immediately cryopreserved in our IVF lab, then safely stored in liquid nitrogen to be used in IVF at some point in the future, if needed.
  • When and if the woman needs to use her eggs, they can be thawed and fertilized with sperm at any time, creating embryos that can be used to achieve pregnancy.

Who should consider fertility preservation?

Egg freezing is a wise choice for women who know that they want to have children someday, but have reasons to postpone pregnancy for now. Fertility preservation is an ideal option for women in their 20s or early 30s, who wish to preserve their eggs while they are still plentiful. Women older than 35 may also be able to preserve their eggs, but should act quickly if they wish to do so.

Fertility preservation is highly recommended for women who have been diagnosed with cancer and need treatment that could affect their reproductive organs and future fertility. If you or someone you love is facing a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to begin the process immediately, as egg freezing must be performed before chemotherapy or radiation begins. We offer same-day consultations for newly diagnosed women to explore their options, and will fast-track the process so they can get the treatment they need quickly.

As an inclusive fertility practice, we also welcome transgender individuals who wish to preserve their fertility prior to transition, in hopes of one day parenting a biological child.

If you are thinking about fertility preservation through egg freezing, our Central California fertility specialists urge you not to wait to explore whether it is right for you. We would be happy to discuss the process with you, and can perform fertility testing that can give you a good idea of how much time you might have before you need to take action to protect your dream of becoming a parent.

Contact us today to schedule a no-commitment consultation with an experienced reproductive endocrinologist.