Egg freezing is a breakthrough technology that allows women to freeze and store their eggs until a pregnancy is desired. At that time, the eggs are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
Many women today are postponing childbearing because they are focused on a career, are returning to school, or because they simply haven’t met the right person. For these women, egg freezing is revolutionary, not just in its technology, but in the life choices it allows them to make.
Over 50,000 reproductive-aged women are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments typically lead to infertility by destroying the eggs. While options vary depending on age, type of cancer and cancer-treatment plan, egg freezing can provide these women the opportunity to preserve their fertility. Also, egg freezing can be useful for individuals with religious or moral objections to storing frozen embryos that remain following a routine IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cycle.
It takes approximately four to six weeks to complete the egg freezing cycle, which follows the same protocol as IVF. This includes birth control pills and self-administered hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries. Eggs are retrieved and are frozen to a final temperature of -196ºC immediately following retrieval. When embryo transfer is desired, the eggs are thawed, injected with a single sperm to achieve fertilization, and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
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