Learn How Egg Freezing Works And If It’s Right For You

3 minute read

There are many reasons one might consider egg freezing, including wanting to wait to have a baby later in life, medical reasons, wanting to wait to find a partner, etc. Whatever the reasons, it’s important to have all the information at hand to decide if egg freezing is right for you. Learn what egg freezing is, how much it costs, and the success rate for having a baby.

Egg freezing: What is it?

Because it can be harder to conceive over the age of 35, some women consider egg freezing. Egg freezing, also known as cryopreservation, is the process of harvesting unfertilized eggs from the ovaries. The eggs are then frozen and stored so they can be fertilized at a later date when the person is ready to have a child.

Is egg freezing worth it?

Egg freezing can cost thousands of dollars and there is no guarantee of success, though researchers aim for a 60 percent live birth success rate. Whether or not the risk of it not being successful for the amount of money spent is entirely based on your personal goals and priorities.

What is the success rate of egg freezing?

Whether or not your egg freezing process is successful depends on how old you were when your eggs were frozen, and how many eggs you froze. Clinicians recommend people freeze between 10 and 20 eggs before the age of 35. If this is the case, research has shown there’s a 60 percent success rate of a live birth resulting from a frozen egg.

Egg freezing cost

While egg freezing, or cryopreservation, can be a good option for those who want to wait to have children, it comes at a cost. It’s about $10,000 to harvest the eggs from the ovaries, and then about $500 a year to maintain the eggs. When the person is ready to have a child, in vitro fertilization can cost around $5,000.

Is egg freezing right for me?

Egg freezing could be right for you if you want to eventually have a baby, but you don’t foresee conceiving during your reproductive prime. Freezing your eggs before 35 can increase your chances of conceiving when you’re older. That said, there are other methods to encourage fertility that may be cheaper or better suited for your body and/or lifestyle. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if egg freezing is right for you.

What is the egg freezing age limit?

You can technically freeze your eggs at any age, but fertility experts recommend freezing your eggs in your 20s and early 30s for the best chances of having a successful live birth. It is optimal to freeze your eggs before 35 years old, but 37 years old is the average age people freeze their eggs. Freezing your eggs over 38 is not recommended.

How many eggs should I freeze?

Freezing 10 to 20 eggs is advised. More eggs increases your chances of having one egg successfully leading to a live birth.

Can I freeze my eggs at 45?

While you can freeze your eggs at 45, it is not recommended. Fertility experts agree that it is best to freeze your eggs before the age of 35 for the best chances of a successful live birth. The average age for egg freezing, however, is 37 years old.

Is egg freezing painful?

While egg freezing is not painful, some experience discomfort and bloating. Egg freezing prep involves gonadotropins injections, a hormone that does not normally cause adverse effects. It is possible, however, to have a rare condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) that can cause pain or bloating in the abdomen. While the risk of getting OHSS is low, it can require hospitalization. 

During the actual egg retrieval process, you will likely go under anesthesia and not feel anything during the five to ten-minute procedure. That said you might experience mild discomfort afterwards and want to spend the day resting.

Egg freezing is one of a few options when it comes to aiding fertility. There are several factors to consider — such as cost, lifestyle, health, and age — when choosing to freeze your eggs. It’s best to equip yourself with as much information as possible and to talk to a healthcare provider before determining if egg freezing is right for you.

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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