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Egg Freezing for Elective Indications
An example of elective egg freezing would be a woman who is between the ages of 21 and 43 years old who is not in a situation conducive to childbearing at present. The mean age of women who are currently seeking oocyte cryopreservation at our center is 38 years of age.
We think freezing between the ages of 30 and 38 is most ideal and between 39 to 41 years reasonable in most cases, but with the caveat that the known success rate in regular IVF cycles is less in women over age 38 than in younger women, due to the natural egg aging process.
The average number of oocytes we have retrieved at our center in cycles completed for deferred reproduction is 14. This is a good number but certainly not a guarantee that a baby will be produced. Some women elect to undergo more than one treatment cycle to increase the number of eggs they have frozen. This is reasonable and will be discussed with you by your doctor, if appropriate. One useful indicator of oocyte health is a hormone blood test performed on the second or third day of the menstrual cycle looking at the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol) levels.
It is important to know that the timing of egg freezing treatment is, in part, determined by your internal reproductive hormones and that the treatment cycle is generally started at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. One oocyte cryopreservation treatment cycle takes about two weeks to complete and, during that period, your schedule needs to be relatively flexible. You need to be available for frequent morning monitoring of the egg development and for the oocyte harvest procedure. Travel should be limited during the treatment cycle and you should be aware that the exact days treatment will occur cannot be determined ahead of time. In fact, your body's response to the fertility medications controls much of what happens in the process.
As of October 2012, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine has removed the "experimental" label from oocyte cryopreservation. Information about the success of our egg freezing program is available on our program information page.
If you are interested in or need more preliminary information about egg freezing, learn more about how to get started with egg freezing. We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have about the process at the time of your consultation.
- Nicole Noyes, MD - (212) 263-7981 - Co-director of the Oocyte Cryopreservation Program
- Jamie A. Grifo, MD, PhD - (212) 263-7978 - Co-director of the Oocyte Cryopreservation Program
- Frederick Licciardi, MD - (212) 263-7754
- Alan S. Berkeley, MD - (212) 263-7629
- David L. Keefe, MD - (212) 263-3360
- M. Elizabeth Fino, MD - (212) 263-0056