Is Egg or Embryo Freezing the Right Choice for You?
Not ready to have kids just yet? Today’s women of healthy reproductive age have the option of freezing their eggs and/or embryos, keeping them in storage until they are ready to start a family. For nearly a decade, NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York (NYU Langone RS of NY) has been providing fertility preservation for patients with a medical diagnosis that may cause them to be infertile. We now also offer this service to women who choose to preserve their fertility options for the future.
What is Fertility Preservation?
Fertility Preservation is a technique available to women and men that allows them to freeze either their eggs, embryos (fertilized eggs), or sperm for future use. This allows the person the opportunity to increase their chances of having a baby in the future.
Fertility preservation for women can be done in two ways. You can freeze just your eggs only or freeze your embryos, which are eggs fertilized with sperm. There are several differences between embryo freezing and egg freezing. Compared to egg freezing, embryo freezing currently has the highest chance for pregnancy due to higher pregnancy rates. Additionally, embryos are less delicate than eggs during the freezing process. Sometimes eggs have more trouble surviving the freezing and thawing process to be successfully fertilized. However, freezing eggs do allow women the opportunity to find a male partner in the future and use her eggs with his sperm.
To freeze embryos, you have options of using your partner’s sperm or donor sperm. Women also have the option of using donated eggs as well.
At NYU Langone RS of NY, we provide vitrification as method of embryo storage. During this particular embryo storage, cells are barely dehydrated and temperature change is extremely rapid, which improves the embryos ability to survive the process and regain metabolic activity upon thawing. Because this is a fast freezing process, the embryo is not damaged with the formation of ice crystals due to the instantaneous solidification of the embryo, which can happen in the other methods of freezing.
Embryo vitrification has been proven to be safe and effective. Studies have shown that there is no increase in chromosomal abnormalities via frozen embryos, and more healthy babies are now being born everyday through them. The biggest key to a successful treatment is to begin the process early.
Reasons to Freeze Your Eggs or Embryos
Most women consider freezing their eggs or embryos for elective and medical reasons. Elective fertility preservation is performed because a woman is not ready to have a child at the moment. Other reasons include not currently having a male partner, having a career, or pursuing an education presently. Women may also choose to freezeif they are at risk of injury or death, such as being deployed to war, or if they are deciding to undergo a sex change. The reasons are endless, but most women who choose electively are just not ready at that particular time to begin the pregnancy journey but know that they want to have the chance for having a child in the future..
Medical fertility preservation is performed due to a medical condition that will directly affect a woman’s fertility, and the preservation of eggs and/or embryos would help to increase future chances of having a child. Egg and/ or Embryo freezing is currently the most effective way for women to preserve their fertility. The most common reason for medical fertility preservation is due to cancer and chemotherapy medications.
At NYU Langone RS of NY, if you are curious or considering the fertility preservation method of frozen eggs and/or embryos, we will have you take our Egg Check Test. The Egg Check Test has been developed to help you determine the age of your eggs. The test involves a combination of your age, Day 3 FSH and Estradiol, Basal Antral Follicle Count, ovarian volume, and anti-Mullerian hormone. Once the information from the test is received, one of our board certified physicians will help you determine your best options for when to freeze your eggs in order to optimize your future fertility.
If you found that egg and/ or embryo freezing might be right for you, contact NYU Langone RS of NY today to help you build a brighter future. We will discuss with you the best steps to optimize your chance of having a baby in the future. We look forward to helping you continue this journey when the moment is right.