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Is the Egg Freezing Procedure Painful?

Is the Egg Freezing Procedure Painful?

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, allows you to delay pregnancy while providing eggs are available when the time is right.

Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Deborah Smith and our Rocky Mountain Fertility Center team are well-known for providing the most advanced infertility studies and treatments available. We’re proud of our excellent success rate and always consider it a privilege to help our patients build their families.

Read what our team says about the egg-freezing procedure, its benefits, and what you can expect during the process.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) is a medical procedure in which a woman's eggs (oocytes) are extracted, frozen, and stored for future use.

The process involves stimulating the ovaries with hormone medications to produce multiple mature eggs, which we gather through a minor surgical procedure called egg retrieval.

Once you’re ready to start your family, we thaw the frozen eggs, fertilize them via IVF, and implant the developing embryos in your uterus.

Why would I consider egg freezing?

Egg freezing is available for women delaying pregnancy due to their careers, an upcoming medical procedure that may interfere with fertility, or because they’re not yet ready to have a child.

You may, for instance, consider egg freezing if you’re not yet in a stable relationship but intend to have a child in the future. Dr. Smith notes eggs are at their healthiest (most viable) before age 32. 

Is egg freezing painful?

Egg freezing involves several steps. While significant pain is very unusual, you may experience mild discomfort during one or two of these steps, which include:

Ovarian stimulation

To maximize the chances of retrieving multiple eggs, women undergo a course of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries. This phase can last 10-12 days, during which patients may experience mild discomfort due to hormonal changes.

Some individuals report bloating, breast tenderness, or mood swings. But similar to what you experience during a regular menstrual cycle, these symptoms are generally temporary and subside after the procedure.

Egg retrieval

Once the ovarian stimulation phase is complete, Dr. Smith retrieves the eggs during a minor outpatient surgical procedure called transvaginal ultrasound-guided egg retrieval. You receive intravenous (IV) sedation or anesthesia to minimize any potential discomfort.

During the procedure, Dr. Smith inserts a thin needle through the vaginal wall to reach the ovaries and extract the eggs. Although this sounds invasive, the anesthesia ensures that most women do not feel any pain during the retrieval process.

You may experience mild cramping or spotting immediately following the procedure, but most women respond well to egg retrieval, reporting only mild grogginess afterward due to the sedative and minimal discomfort otherwise.


After retrieval, the eggs are rapidly frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at extremely low temperatures until they are ready to be thawed and used. This step does not involve any physical discomfort.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center today for more information about egg freezing or any service we offer. Call our Parker, Colorado, office or book an appointment online.

Deborah Smith, MD For over 30 years Dr. Smith and her dedicated team have been helping couples realize their dream of having a child. At RMFC, the success rates of the fertility therapies offered are among the highest in the nation, that is why RMFC is the premier fertility clinic Denver and Rapid City trust. Dr. Deborah Smith is one of the most experienced board certified infertility doctors in Colorado and South Dakota with 30 years’ experience as a fertility expert. Dr. Smith and her team offers patients a combination of excellent clinical expertise, strong research experience and warm personal care.

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