Myths and Facts About Egg Freezing
There are a thousand different factors—from career growth, to higher education, to health management, to finding the right partner—that contribute to determining when a person might be ready to start a family. If you are considering having children in the future, egg freezing may be a great way to preserve your family-building options.
At NYULFC, our first job is to support our patients fully as they become educated about their options, and with so much misinformation about egg freezing out there, we’re here to break down some of the most common myths about fertility preservation.
Myth #1: Age doesn’t matter.
Fact: At birth, the ovaries contain all the eggs they will ever have. The quality and quantity of these eggs decrease naturally over time. The term “Ovarian Reserve” refers to the quality and quantity of eggs remaining in the ovaries. Beginning around age 30, a woman’s fertility begins to decline with the rate of decline accelerating after age 35.
Myth #2: Freezing my eggs could impact my future fertility.
Fact: In many ways, ovarian stimulation mimics the natural menstrual cycle, dialed up several notches. During the course of a natural menstrual cycle, your brain produces hormones that stimulate one of your ovaries to release a single mature egg. During an ovulation induction cycle, you are prescribed those same hormones in the form of fertility medications. These medications stimulate the ovaries to mature several ovarian follicles (each containing an egg) at once. Because these are eggs that would have been otherwise discarded by the body, ovarian induction has no impact on future fertility.
Myth #3: Egg Freezing is an experimental and risky treatment.
Fact: NYU Langone Fertility Center has performed over 3,000 egg freezing cycle and performs over 450 per year. Our team of physicians are pioneers in the field of reproductive endocrinology, and in 2005 our team welcomed the first baby born through egg freezing at NYULFC. While each patient reacts to treatment differently, most describe any side effects they experience as heightened symptoms of their menstrual cycle. The egg retrieval procedure itself is relatively simple, and requires patients go under general anesthesia for approximately 30 minutes. Patients are able to return home that same day and most resume their normal activity within a few days.
Myth #4: Previously frozen eggs will be less effective than using “fresh” eggs later on.
Fact: Studies have shown that there is no difference in pregnancy rates for frozen and thawed eggs compared to fresh eggs.
Myth #5: The process is time consuming.
Fact: Following your Fertility Health Screening, you and your doctor will work together to develop your fertility preservation treatment plan. After completing our Egg Freezing Orientation course you will be ready to begin treatment. You will begin taking fertility medications at home within two days of the start of your menstrual cycle and will continue to do so for 10-12 days until your egg retrieval. During this time you will visit the office 3-5 times for monitoring (each appointment is approximately 30 minutes). Egg retrieval typically takes place anywhere between day 12 and day 14 of ovarian stimulation. From start to finish cycles are usually less than two weeks long!