We understand egg freezing is big decision, and we want to make it as comfortable and easy as possible. Our dedicated egg freezing team helps to ensure you receive the best possible care, counseling and support throughout the process.
Penn Fertility Care’s active fertility preservation program offers egg freezing to treat several causes of infertility. Many women who have frozen their eggs or used our donor egg bank have had successful pregnancies.
What is Egg Freezing?
Penn Fertility Care uses state-of-the-art vitrification (slow freezing) technology to freeze eggs. This ensures your eggs are frozen rapidly, before ice crystals that can damage them during thawing can form.
Fertility preservation through oocyte (egg) freezing allows you to store unfertilized eggs for use later in life. You can cryopreserve eggs if you’re facing treatments that may compromise fertility such as chemotherapy for cancer. Also, if you’re not ready to have a child during your most fertile years, you might be interested in freezing your eggs to pursue pregnancy at a later time.
Egg freezing, also called cryopreservation, is no longer considered experimental by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. To date, there are more than 1,000 births worldwide as a result of egg freezing, and there doesn't appear to be an increased risk of pregnancy complications or birth defects in women who conceive using frozen eggs.
The Cryopreservation Process
Cryopreservation is a precise method used to preserve embryos, eggs, ovarian tissue, and sperm by cooling and storing them at a very low temperature and then thawing them at a future date for use.
You may choose cryopreservation to postpone having children — for personal, professional or medical reasons. When you are ready to become pregnant, your eggs can be thawed and fertilized, and the embryo can be transferred to your uterus.
The egg retrieval procedure for oocyte cryopreservation is the same as that for in vitro fertilization. Your ovaries are stimulated through hormone injections to produce multiple egg-containing follicles. Progression of follicular development is followed by evaluating hormone levels and performing ultrasounds at the appropriate times. A transvaginal ultrasound guides the retrieval of the eggs and the eggs are immediately frozen.
Risks of Egg Freezing
It is important to recognize that freezing eggs does not guarantee a future pregnancy. It is possible that some eggs will not survive, fertilize or lead to a pregnancy.
The decision to freeze your eggs can be difficult, and you must weigh the potential success, cost and risks of the procedure.
Advancements in Cryopreservation
The cryopreservation of oocytes or ovarian tissue is an important area of research for reproductive endocrinologists.
Embryo cryopreservation is still more successful than egg (oocyte) cryopreservation, but egg cryopreservation technology is advancing. We are at the forefront of this new technology and offer designated clinical trials to determine the best methods to achieve pregnancy success with the use of cryopreserved eggs.
Other Egg Preservation Methods
For women with a diminished ovarian reserve, or who are experiencing early menopause, or who have undergone cancer treatment, using eggs donated by a young, healthy woman is another option for conception and a live-birth.
Our Donor Egg Program matches women who are unable to produce a healthy egg with an egg donor, to give infertile women a chance at conception.
In addition to oocyte cryopreservation and egg donation services, we offer embryo freezing, ovarian tissue freezing and sperm banking services.