CCRM’s elective fertility preservation program assists women who wish to freeze eggs or embryos in order to have children later in life. CCRM has already had many patients with successful pregnancies resulting from eggs they froze years earlier.
A woman may elect to have egg freezing treatment for the following reasons:
She is a single woman who is not currently in a relationship but would like the option of biological motherhood in the future. She may try to conceive using her thawed frozen eggs in the future at a time when her own fertility may have reduced and the quality of her fresh eggs may have diminished.
She has a medical condition which may either shorten her ‘fertility life’ or which will prevent her trying to conceive until treatment for that condition is complete, such as:
Recurrent ovarian cysts
Any condition which may result in premature ovarian failure or the removal of her ovaries
A history of early menopause in her family
Why Should I Freeze My Eggs?
There is a natural decline in fertility many years prior to the onset of menopause despite a woman having regular ovulatory cycles. It is reported that there is a slight decline in fertility at the age of 27 and a substantial decrease after the age of 35.
The fertility preservation process begins with a consultation with a CCRM physician, which includes an in-depth discussion of the patient’s needs and the processes involved. Blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound are performed during this appointment to assess the number of eggs in the ovaries (ovarian reserve).
Each patient has an individualized medication protocol. The purpose of the medications taken during treatment is to safely stimulate the ovaries to produce more mature eggs than are produced in a natural cycle. Ovarian stimulation takes approximately two weeks. At a time determined by the physician, the patient undergoes the egg retrieval procedure. The retrieved eggs are then frozen using a vitrification (freezing) process. If the patient wishes to freeze embryos, the eggs are fertilized after retrieval.
CCRM has completed egg freezing cycles on more than 500 women. Although many of the eggs are frozen for long term storage and fertility preservation, more than 300 egg thawing cycles have been completed with an oocyte survival rate of greater than 90%. The pregnancy rate following egg thawing, fertilization, and embryo transfer is 74.0% with a live birth rate per embryo transfer of 64.3% as of September 2014.