Until recently, few practices have had the experience or capability to offer egg freezing. Santa Monica Fertility in the Los Angeles area, however, is at the vanguard of egg freezing technology. Dr. Jain conducted the first prospective trial in the field for which he was awarded the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society’s 2006 top research prize. He created the USC egg freezing program during his tenure there, and he now brings that expertise to our patients in Los Angeles and all over the world at SMF.
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.
And finally, egg freezing can be useful for individuals with religious or moral objections to storing frozen embryos that remain following a routine 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.
We recommend that at least ten eggs be stored for each pregnancy attempt. For women under thirty-eight years of age, we normally harvest ten to twenty eggs per cycle. Based on our success with embryo freezing, we believe that long-term storage of frozen eggs is possible.
Our most recent frozen egg pregnancy rates from frozen eggs are among the highest in the country – over 40% with the vitrification method. This figure is well above the national average for frozen embryos. Furthermore, we anticipate continued success and improvement in these rates with our dedication to ongoing research in the field.
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 that which we see in the general population.
The cost of egg freezing is approximately $13,800. This fee includes all testing, monitoring and the first year of storage. Each additional year is billed at a rate of $650. There are additional costs for medications which vary by pharmacy. The egg thaw, fertilization and embryo transfer procedure total approximately $8,000. Discounts are offered for additional cycles.
See all our pricing policies here.
» For further information, please visit the Egg Freezing Center.