Baby making on ice - What is involved in egg freezing?
In order to retrieve eggs for freezing, a patient undergoes the same hormone-injection process as in-vitro fertilization . The only difference is that following egg retrieval, they are frozen for a period of time before they are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
It takes approximately 3 weeks to complete the egg freezing cycle and is consistent with the initial stages of the IVF process including:
1-2 weeks of birth control pills to temporarily turn off natural hormones (this step can be skipped if there is urgency, such as prior to cancer therapy).
9-10 days of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs.
Once the eggs have adequately matured, they are removed with a needle placed through the vagina under ultrasound guidance. This procedure is done under intravenous sedation and is not painful. The eggs are then immediately frozen. When the patient is ready to attempt pregnancy (this can be several years later) the eggs are thawed, injected with a single sperm to achieve fertilization, and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
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