Fertility preservation is an option more women are exploring. When you seek more information about your reproductive health at Wilcox Fertility, we help educate you on your fertility, your options and the process so you can decide what you feel works best for you, your lifestyle and your future family building goals. Below is a high-level overview of egg freezing.
Egg freezing is when eggs are retrieved, frozen and then stored for later use. Freezing your eggs does not necessarily mean that you will have to use them to conceive. It means that they are available as an option should you find you have fertility issues later when you’re ready to expand your family.
The freezing process is called vitrification. Vitrification instantly freezes your eggs at the age you were at the time you went through this process. Because vitrification is a “fast freeze”, they help protect the integrity of your eggs both as they are freezing and when they are thawed to be used and fertilized.
To decide if you’re a candidate for egg freezing, Dr. Wilcox will perform a physical exam plus an ultrasound to observe your uterus and ovaries to make sure everything looks normal. It will also provide an idea of how many eggs you have in your ovarian reserve. Blood work will also be taken to review your hormone levels. The three main hormones Dr. Wilcox will be looking at are known as the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), estradiol and Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH). These three will help provide a picture of where you are in your cycle, give additional information on how many eggs you have and the health of your eggs.
Once Dr. Wilcox has these results, you can discuss whether egg freezing is right for you. If so, he will discuss a recommended treatment protocol for egg retrieval.
Overview of the Egg Freezing Process:
- Dr. Wilcox will prescribe the protocol/treatment he believes will provide you the highest chance of yielding the most eggs for egg freezing (the recommendation is typically 15 – 20 eggs per cycle).
- Your clinical team will be your day-to-day guide to walk with you during treatment.
- You will learn how to take your medications (either orally or through injection)
- You will have baseline blood work and ultrasound on your instructed start date.
- You may be asked to call the clinic on the first day of your period.
- Stimulation takes approximately 8 -14 days.
- Once Dr. Wilcox is confident the follicles have reached a mature state, you will be instructed to take your “trigger shot”, which is also referred to as an hCG.
- Your medical team will advise you of your admission time which is typically 24 or so hours after your trigger shot for the retrieval.
- After the egg retrieval, the eggs will be frozen and stored until you are ready to use them for family building.
For more information on the numerous fertility treatments and family building options offered at Wilcox Fertility, please continue to review other areas of our site or to inquire about financial information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.