Are you worried about your fertility, especially as the years go by? Whether you are concerned about aging, medical condition, and their treatment, among other considerations, egg freezing can help. The fertility preservation option remains a go-to for many, considering the notable benefits realized. Michael Cho M.D. may recommend egg freezing to help you become a genetic parent later in life and lower the child’s risk of developing congenital diseases. However, before diving in, you need to know a few things to make an informed decision. Among the things to know include:
Egg freezing is not a surefire conception solution
Egg freezing alleviates stress since you can rest knowing you can have a baby when the timeline is right. However, it is not an insurance policy guaranteeing a forever-fertility solution. Not all the eggs preserved will be viable. Moreover, as you age, your conception capability lowers. Therefore, as you dive in, accounting for the possibility of not having a baby is essential. Egg freezing is not a do-and-forget solution, meaning you still have to take the right measures to realize the best results.
Age is not everything
Sure, considering egg freezing past 35 years is a bit rate. The ideal age is between the early 20 and 30s. This is the typical window when your ovarian reserve is high and packed with healthier eggs. However, the number of eggs in the ovaries can be affected by other factors. As such, having hormone testing done is helpful. Testing will give you a better picture of the state of the ovarian reserve. With your doctor’s input and a clear reserve state, you will be better positioned to decide if egg freezing is right for you.
Egg harvesting can be overwhelming. Besides testing your ovarian reserve and screening for infectious disease, you may have to undergo an ultrasound to view the overall ovarian function. The process also entails taking synthetic hormones designed to stimulate the ovaries to grow fluid-filled sacs (follicles) housing and protecting eggs. You also take medication to prevent ovulation before the eggs are retrieved.
When the follicles are ready, an injectable hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin is taken to facilitate egg maturation. From here, the doctor inserts an ultrasound probe into your vagina and locates the mature follicles, followed by a long, hollow needle for suction. You can be anesthetized for the procedure if need be. Before you sign up for egg freezing, understanding the process and ensuring you are comfortable with it is essential, especially considering the doctor you choose.
The egg harvesting process impacts your body, and while everyone reacts differently, you can expect some effects. Pain and cramping after the retrieval are common. Moreover, considering the hormones and their impacts, you can experience mood swings. The fertility medication used to facilitate ovulation can also lead to a reaction. While rare, this can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Watch out for symptoms like bloating or weight gain.
As you consider egg freezing, look beyond your age, health status, or financial implication. Knowing as much as possible about egg freezing makes the process more productive. Visit University Reproductive Associates (URA) to learn about egg freezing and other fertility preservation options.