Egg Freezing Colorado & South Dakota

Freezing Eggs in Colorado and South Dakota

Egg freezing is a breakthrough technology that allows women to freeze and store their eggs until a pregnancy is desired, at which time the eggs are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos. Dr. Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center provides individuals with the option of egg freezing at both the Colorado and South Dakota facilities.

Not until recently, has a successful technique for freezing eggs been developed. This new technique will help women facing infertility due to chemotherapy, women whose egg supply may run out as they age, in addition to couples who have an ethical dilemma with embryo freezing, save eggs for future fertility.

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Egg Freezing Process

freezing eggs coloradoThe egg freezing process is basically the same as an in-vitro fertilization cycle (IVF), except that following egg retrieval your eggs are frozen rather than immediately fertilized. The process takes from 6-8 weeks and involves two phases: increasing egg production and subsequent egg retrieval and freezing.

To increase egg production, first you’re on a few weeks of birth control pills. This will give your ovaries time to rest. Then, you’ll receive about 2 weeks of hormone injections. These will stimulate your ovaries to develop multiple eggs, rather than the single egg that normally develops each month. It takes about 10 frozen eggs to create one pregnancy on average.

During the process, your progress will be monitored with vaginal ultrasounds to see your ovaries. We look for development of the fluid-filled ovarian follicles where eggs grow and mature. When your eggs are ready for retrieval — usually from 8-14 days — we’ll move to the next phase.

Egg retrieval is done at our office with you under sedation. An ultrasound probe will be placed into your vagina to identify the follicles. A needle is then guided through the vagina and into a follicle. A suction source is connected to the needle and it removes the eggs from the follicle. We can retrieve multiple eggs in just 15-20 minutes.

The eggs are then flash frozen using a process known as vitrification. Now the eggs are available when you want to try and get pregnant down the road.

Women who want to learn more about freezing eggs should set up a new patient appointment. Your medical history will be reviewed and egg quality will be checked to see if you will be a good candidate for egg freezing. We do not freeze eggs on women 40+ years of age.

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FAQs About Freezing Eggs


Who May Benefit From Freezing Eggs?

1. Individuals faced with the prospect of losing ovarian function either surgically, through chemotherapy or radiation exposure may benefit from freezing eggs. There may be medical contraindications for some individuals to participate in the cryopreservation program. Medical consultation with your oncologist or surgeon may be required.

2. Couples undergoing in vitro fertilization who are morally or ethically opposed to the cryopreservation of embryos should look into egg freezing.

3. Individuals who anticipate delaying childbearing into their late thirties. Certainly, we know that many individuals after age 37 will have severely diminished fertility due to remaining egg number and quality. These couples should consider freezing eggs.


What are the Egg Freezing Success Rates?

  • For women under 35 years of age, about 12 mature eggs will be required to obtain a 50% chance of a live birth.
  • For women over 36 years of age, 16 eggs will be needed to have a good chance of success.
  • Egg quality is primarily a function of age but does relate to ovarian reserve. Egg quality in general declines with age. Because of concerns over egg quality, we do not offer egg freezing to patients older than 40.

Since egg quality will vary from individual to individual, it is not possible to assert for any particular individual their chances for a successful pregnancy from a given number of eggs. More accurate assessment of ovarian reserve can be obtained through hormonal testing. The tests that we currently recommend are the anti-mullerian hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and estradiol hormone levels.


Is Freezing Eggs Safe?

To date, approximately 2000 babies have been born worldwide from frozen eggs. Among these births, the rate of birth defects and chromosomal defects has been no higher than in the general population. Additionally, genetic screening of embryos is available.

Why Would I Consider Preserving My Eggs Through Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing with Rocky Mountain Fertility Center is a great option for you if you’re not ready to become pregnant right now but want to try to increase your chances of becoming pregnant at a later date especially when you are over the age of 35. Freezing eggs now doesn’t require sperm and you don’t face ethical/religious issues such as potentially destroying frozen embryos, or creating embryos with donor sperm.

Here are some reasons you might want to consider egg freezing now:

  • You feel you are running out of time to become a mother, but you’re not currently in a dedicated, committed relationship. So, rather than reduce your odds as you age, you can freeze “younger” eggs now.
  • You’re about to undergo treatment for cancer or another illness. Radiation or chemotherapy, for instance, can reduce your fertility.
  • You want to pursue your career.
  • You don’t want to store frozen embryos.
  • You have a family history of early menopause, which depletes your supplies of eggs.

How Does My Age Affect My Fertility?

A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. As you age, your eggs age as well, and their number and quality reduces over time. Women have a much higher chance of having a child when they try to get pregnant prior to their 35th birthday. This is true for both natural and assisted reproductive treatments such as in-vitro fertilization. In general, women are the most fertile before the age of 30; after that, fertility declines, significantly declining rapidly after age 35. By 40, a woman’s fertility is about a quarter of what it was before she was 30.

How are the Eggs Frozen?

It’s important to not have ice crystals form in the egg, as these can destroy the cell. Through egg freezing, the eggs are basically dehydrated and then flash frozen. The process is call vitrification.

Is the Egg Collecting Process Painful?

The process causes minimal pain, as you are under intravenous sedation (anesthesia) for the procedure. Afterwards, you may experience some cramping. You may also have some feelings of fullness or pressure because your ovaries remain somewhat enlarged. These can last for a couple of weeks.

How Long Can I Keep My Eggs Frozen?

There is no evidence that the health of viability of frozen eggs decreases with time. There have been many instances of healthy babies being born from eggs that were frozen for 10 years or more.

Is Egg Freezing as Likely to Produce Pregnancy as Fresh Eggs?

As this is a relatively new process, there have been a limited number of studies thus far evaluating the success of egg freezing. But the results from frozen donor eggs versus fresh eggs the pregnancy rates appear to be nearly equal. The success rates vary with the individual, based on your egg quality test results.

 

Contact Us!
Rocky Mountain Fertility Center proudly provides in Parker, Castle Rock, and Denver, Colorado and Rapid City, South Dakota with egg freezing services. To learn more about freezing eggs or to schedule an appointment, call (303) 999-3877.

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