If you are considering having children in the future, egg freezing may be a great way to preserve your fertility options. Women in New York City know there are a thousand different factors—from finding the right partner, to advanced degrees, to career growth, to unexpected health challenges—that contribute to determining when a person might be ready to start a family. For women considering having children in the future, egg freezing may be a great way to preserve family-building options. At NYU Langone Fertility Center, feel confident placing your trust in one of the most experienced teams in New York City. Our first job is to support our patients fully as they become educated about their family-building options, so we’re here to break down everything you need to know about egg freezing.
Fertility Preservation for Elective Reasons
Now more than ever, women are delaying having children. American women everywhere are delaying motherhood, but according to the New York Times,this is especially common in large coastal cities like New York. When considering when to have children, women are increasingly weighing financial considerations, health implications and their personal and professional goals against their timeline for family building. Unfortunately, female fertility decreases with age: at birth, the ovaries contain about 2 million eggs, the quality and quantity of which decrease naturally over time. For women who are interested in having a family later in life but may not be ready to have children right now, egg freezing is a great way to preserve younger, healthier eggs for use in embryo creation and attempted pregnancy at a later date.
Fertility Preservation for Medical Reasons
At NYU Langone Fertility Center we provide comprehensive, safe, and time-sensitive care for women who chose to freeze their eggs prior to undergoing chemotherapy or other iatrogenic surgery. We are proud to welcome patients from centers across New York City and around the world who need immediate and efficient oncofertility care prior to life-saving treatments.
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy work by targeting and killing cells in the body that divide and multiply quickly (like cancer cells). However, oocytes (eggs) also tend to divide quickly and are often affected by chemotherapy. Because fertility following chemotherapy is dependent upon a number of factors including the length of treatment, dosage of drugs, and the patient’s age, it is difficult to predict whether or not a patient will be fertile following treatment. As a result, we encourage all patients who wish to undergo medical fertility preservation to do so prior to their cancer treatment.
Dr. Elizabeth Fino specializes in our fast-track process for patients undergoing fertility preservation due to medical necessity. Oncofertility patients first meet with an oncologist to determine appropriate cancer treatment and to assess the need for medical fertility preservation. Approximately 24-72 hours following the oncology appointment (depending upon when the patient is scheduled to start cancer treatment), the patient meets with a NYU Langone Fertility Center Reproductive Endocrinologist to determine a treatment plan for fertility preservation. The full ovulation induction and egg retrieval process takes approximately 12-14 days, although the length of each cycle varies depending upon how each patient responds to treatment. Following an egg retrieval, the patient is ready to begin cancer treatment immediately and typically begins within 1-2 days.
The Egg Freezing Process
Step 1: Set Up a Consultation to Understand Your Options.
The first step in the egg freezing process is to schedule a new patient consultation and fertility screening at NYU Langone Fertility Center to learn more about your fertility health. During your visit, a fertility doctor will meet with you to discuss your future family-building goals, and we will perform bloodwork and an ultrasound to evaluate your reproductive health.
Step 2: Prepare for your Cycle
After your consult, if you decide that the time is right to freeze your eggs, you'll collaborate with your doctor to build a care plan custom-tailored to meet your fertility goals. Our financial representatives will explore your fertility insurance coverage and/or financing options, then your care team will guide you through the pre-screening lab work. Once your pre-screening tests are complete, you'll attend an orientation class where your care coordinator will review the stimulation process, including your medication protocol and the egg retrieval procedure.
Step 3: Start the Process
We will use fertility medications to stimulate egg production in your ovaries. Over the course of 10-14 days, you'll visit our office for lab work and ultrasounds to monitor egg follicle growth. Then, you will receive a final medication used to mature the eggs and prepare them for retrieval. Between 34-36 hours after the injection, a physician will retrieve your eggs in a brief surgical procedure done under anesthesia. After the eggs are retrieved, our IVF laboratory will freeze and store them for your future use.
Step 4: Come Back When You’re Ready
If you decide to start your family, frozen eggs are thawed and combined with sperm to create embryos. Feel confident—you’ve placed your trust in one of the most experienced teams in the United States. NYU Langone Fertility Center physicians have completed over 3,000 egg freezing cycles and currently perform over 450 cycles per year. As of 2021, we’re thrilled to have welcomed over 300 healthy babies born to patients who froze eggs with us. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, we’re here to support you.