Egg Freezing for Fertility Preservation
The doctors at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health offer people in Scottsdale and Gilbert, AZ numerous treatments for male and female infertility. While in vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common treatments we perform, Dr. Ketan S. Patel and Dr. Diane Hammitt also offer egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation). This process helps preserve a woman’s viable eggs for later use.
Our team would like to discuss egg freezing, its benefits, and why it is done. This can help you determine if egg freezing is an option you should consider.
What Is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility preservation refers to various methods of helping men and women have biological children at a later time. These preservation techniques all involve cryopreservation, which means that sperm, eggs, and/or embryos are frozen at sub-zero temperatures. This prevents cells from degrading, allowing this genetic material to be used years and years later.
In the case of egg freezing, viable eggs are harvested from women and frozen. They can be thawed at a later date and used in various fertility procedures. There are many reasons why women may choose to freeze their eggs for later use. We break down personal and medical reasons for egg freezing below.
Medical Reasons for Freezing Eggs
Common medical reasons for egg freezing include:
- Health Issues Impacting Fertility - Issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and fallopian tube blockage can lead to infertility. Retrieving eggs and saving them for use will be essential for women with these conditions to have children.
- General Medical/Wellness Problems - If a woman has a serious medical issue that needs to be treated, she may decide to have some eggs frozen. This is especially important just in case the condition, the medical procedure, or treatment side effects have a negative impact on fertility.
Personal Reasons for Freezing Egs
Common personal/non-medical reasons for egg freezing include:
- Currently Unsure About Having Children - Sometimes women are unsure if they want to have a child, but they want to save eggs just in case they’d like to in the future. Women’s eggs are typically their healthiest and most fertile during their 20s, so this is a good way to ensure a healthy baby later on.
- Not Ready to Have Children Just Now - Some women want to have kids, but they want to prioritize their career, their finances, their further education, or other goals that could be impeded by raising a child. Fertility preservation opens up more options during a woman’s current stage in life.
- Haven’t Found an Ideal Partner - Women who would like to have a child may just be waiting to find the right person. Saving viable, healthy eggs will allow women to have children later with the right partner.
How Long Can Frozen Eggs Be Preserved?
In theory, frozen eggs can be kept in good condition for decades. According to a 2017 news item from CNN, a 25-year-old woman used someone else’s viable egg that was frozen for 24 years. The 25-year-old gave birth to a healthy young girl thanks to that 24-year-old egg.
For most women, the amount of time won’t be so extreme, but this ought to give you and idea of how effective treatment is.
Learn More About Fertility Preservation
If you would like to learn more about freezing you eggs and other options for fertility preservation, we encourage you to contact our team of fertility specialists. You can reach our office in Scottsdale by calling (480) 504-0778 and our office in Gilbert by calling (480) 681-1805.