At CCRM Fertility, we use the most advanced techniques to retrieve and freeze your eggs, and then thaw and fertilize them using in vitro fertilization (IVF) when you are ready to have a baby. This is all performed under one roof and on your timeline. As a leader in fertility treatment for 35 years, CCRM Fertility can help you preserve your fertility now and will be there when you want to conceive later.
Why Freeze Your Eggs
When it comes to fertility, age matters. As you get older, your eggs diminish in numbers and in quality making it more difficult to conceive or maintain a pregnancy. This change occurs at different rates in different women but does occur in everyone no matter how healthy you may be otherwise.
By the time you reach your late 30s, about half of your eggs will be chromosomally abnormal (too few or too many chromosomes). These chromosomal abnormalities often lead to failed implantation or miscarriage. Unfortunately, by the time you reach your 40s, you only have a 5% chance of becoming pregnant each month.
For women who are not ready to conceive but wish to try to preserve fertility for the future, freezing your eggs in your 20s and 30s allows you to take advantage of your body’s fertility at a time when your eggs are at their healthiest.
Get the egg freezing process started today. Find your local CCRM Fertility location or call (877) 201-6931!
Egg Freezing Process
Step 1: Fertility Testing and Assessment
First, you will meet with your CCRM doctor to discuss your medical history, needs and expectations. On the third day of your period, you will have blood work to assess hormonal function. The results of the testing will help to provide us a picture of your current fertility status (“ovarian reserve”) and a vaginal ultrasound is performed to make sure that there are no structural abnormalities and to let us know how many eggs we may be able to retrieve. The results of these tests will allow your fertility doctor to assess your current fertility potential and to develop your personalized treatment plan.
Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation
Next, you will give yourself hormone injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible (the number should be reflected by your initial ultrasound evaluation). During this process, you will need to come to our office every few days to receive regular monitoring (ultrasound and blood work) to assess your response to the medications and to see if doses need adjusting. When your eggs have matured, your doctor will inform you that it is time to trigger the final stage of maturation and start the ovulation process (the release of your eggs) using a different injectable medication, which is referred to as “the trigger shot.”
During the ovarian stimulation process, you will need to avoid any exercise that is jarring to your pelvis in order to protect your ovaries, which will increase in size as the follicles (cysts that contain the eggs) also grow, as well as avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, medications and many herbal supplements. Your doctor or nurse will discuss what medications and levels of activity are safe for you to take during stimulation.
You may experience symptoms similar to what you are accustomed to experiencing during your regular monthly menstruation, including fatigue, headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, cramping and mood swings.
Step 3: Egg Retrieval
Thirty-five hours after the “trigger shot,” your doctor will collect your eggs during a minor surgical procedure which is performed while you are under anesthesia, by placing a needle through the wall of your vagina into the follicles under ultrasound guidance. The day of the procedure, you will need a caregiver to drive you home and to stay with you for the rest of the day as the anesthesia wears off.
For a few days following your retrieval, you may be bloated and experience cramping and mild discomfort. You will be able to return to work within 24-48 hours following your retrieval and you will feel completely “back to normal” following your next period. We ask that you refrain from exercising until after your next period starts.
Step 4: Egg Freezing
Once your eggs have been successfully retrieved, all mature eggs will be vitrified (rapidly frozen) and stored securely until you’re ready to use them. The embryologist will let you know how many mature, healthy eggs have been frozen.
The entire process to prepare for egg freezing and to retrieve the eggs generally takes 2-3 weeks for most patients, but it can vary depending on the specifics of your situation.
Where You Freeze Your Eggs Matters
If you’re going to pause your biological clock, do it with a fertility clinic that is a global leader in fertility treatment.
All fertility clinics are not created equal. Before choosing an egg freezing clinic, visit the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) website. All SART–member fertility clinics are required to report success rates in a standardized manner and require its members to adhere to strict practice, advertising and ethical guidelines. Remember, not all clinics are SART members and, therefore, do not have to adhere to these guidelines!
Since your eventual goal is to have a baby someday, it’s important to make sure that you know that the clinic that you choose not only is able to freeze eggs, but has reported success after eggs are thawed.
Why Choose CCRM Fertility?
- Science: What differentiates CCRM Fertility from other fertility providers is rooted in a deep commitment to consistently investing in new proprietary technology and scientific techniques that translates into superior outcomes and a family’s fastest path to a healthy baby.
- Service: 97% of patients would recommend CCRM Fertility to family and friends.
- Success: More than 100,000 babies have been born through fertility treatments at CCRM Fertility. We continually invest in our people, facilities, equipment and research to ensure we consistently maintain excellence in both success rates and patient satisfaction. You will be seen by caring and highly-skilled physicians in facilities that employ the latest technology resulting in consistently superior outcomes in all that we do.
You might also be interested in: Egg Freezing FAQ & Egg Freezing Costs
Egg Freezing FAQ
Q: How long does the egg freezing process take?
Q: What does the egg freezing process involve?
Q: How many eggs should I freeze?
Q: Is freezing your eggs painful?
Q: What are the side effects of egg freezing?
A: In rare instances (1-5%), “ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome” (OHSS) may occur during ovarian stimulation. OHSS is associated with swollen, enlarged ovaries and the collection of fluid in the abdominal cavity. After the egg retrieval, you might experience spotting, cramping and nausea for a few days.
Q: Do I have to stop birth control before I freeze eggs?
A: Since birth control pills or patches prevent ovulation, you will need to stop using it before starting the egg freezing process. You can resume using the pill or the patch after your egg retrieval. If you have an IUD, you don’t have to remove it during the egg freezing process.For women that have been using the pill or the patch for a long period of time, we often recommend a month “rest” period (aka stopping birth control for a month). The pill makes your ovaries go to sleep, effectively. So in an effort to maximize your response to fertility medications, we give them an extra month (a month off the pill) to wake up. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to take the month off it isn’t bad or wrong, it just may ultimately make the egg freezing cycle longer (extra days of meds to get those ovaries going!
Q: What is the best age to freeze your eggs?
Q: How long can you freeze your eggs?
Q: Can you tell a good egg from a bad egg?
Q: Do I need to prepare my body and change my diet before I start the egg freezing process?
Q: Are there reasons some women may need to freeze their eggs more than others?
Q: Will I hurt my future fertility by freezing my eggs?
Q: How do I check my fertility?
Q: What does a low AMH mean?
Q: What makes one fertility clinic lab better than another?
A: There are many clinics that offer egg freezing, but many of the newer clinics have only frozen eggs (they haven’t thawed eggs or had success creating babies with the eggs they’ve frozen). We recommend finding a clinic that not only freezes eggs, but also performs IVF in-house. Make sure to ask for a clinic’s thaw rates and live birth success rates to get an idea of your chances of a having a baby in the future. The hardest procedures in fertility medicine are egg freezing and embryo biopsy. With egg freezing there is one cell; so you get one chance to do this right. You want to go to a clinic that does this time and time again. You can have good eggs, but if they are frozen in not the best way they won’t work later on!