Egg Freezing: Does it Work?
If you're considering egg freezing, one of your first questions is likely "will it work?" There are three parts to the answer.
First, is the egg freezing technology vitrification proven? Yes, vitrification has been used extensively for egg donation in more than 10,000 cycles with high success rates. The vitrification process is identical for egg freezing and egg donation.
Second, the probability that egg freezing will work depends on your age and the number of eggs you freeze. The sooner you freeze your eggs, the higher the chance of conception. If you freeze your eggs at a later age, you will want to freeze more eggs to increase your chance of conception.
Last, whether your egg freezing will work also depends on the fertility center you choose. Even fertility centers that use similar technologies have huge variances in success rates. Some factors affecting a program's success rates are the quality of the lab, the skill and experience of the embryologists and fertility doctors, the average number of embryos transferred per case, and the type of patients seen.
Here are some important questions to ask when choosing a fertility center:
- How long have they been in business? Look for a fertility center with years of experience freezing eggs, performing in vitro fertilization (IVF), and creating babies from frozen eggs. It makes sense to choose physicians and embryologists with lots of experience and proven success. In addition, a longstanding clinic is more likely to be around in the future when you're ready to use your frozen eggs.
- Does the fertility center have an egg bank? Fertility centers with an egg bank have extensive experience with vitrification and have proven that they can create babies with frozen eggs.
- What are the fertility center's success rates with IVF? The fertility center's experience and success rates with IVF are relevant to egg freezing. Why? If you ever need to use your frozen eggs, the fertility center will be handling the thawing, insemination, and transfer of your egg. IVF is a more complex process than egg freezing so expertise is important.
- Has egg freezing resulted in babies? Some fertility centers market their expertise in egg freezing, but have never warmed a single egg from their egg freezing patients. So it is important to find out how many babies have been born from the center's frozen eggs.
Regardless of the choice you make, be sure to choose a practice that's practiced! An experienced fertility center can give you confidence that your frozen eggs are more likely to produce a successful pregnancyonce you're ready for this exciting phase of your life.