The egg freezing process paves the way to motherhood
Egg freezing is a fertility treatment that can help a woman control the timing of pregnancy. Our Dallas fertility center team wants you to know what to expect during each step of the egg freezing process. Much like a standard IVF cycle, this fertility treatment ensures that more than one egg develops in a menstrual cycle. Throughout the egg freezing process, you will be under the care of a board certified fertility specialist and our clinical care team.
The egg freezing process unfolds over four to six weeks
Consultation and testing occur first. You’ll meet with a Southlake or Dallas fertility center physician to review your medical history and learn about the process, which takes four to six weeks and starts with ovarian reserve testing on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Results of an ultrasound and blood tests help identify the ideal protocol and medication dose to optimize the number of eggs produced during stimulation.
In the cycle prep and monitoring phase, you may need to take oral contraceptive pills for two to three weeks before taking hormones. This will synchronize follicle development, lower risks of cysts forming, and help with scheduling your cycle. Our Dallas fertility specialists will help you monitor and manage any side effects. More blood work and ultrasounds will happen as you take stimulation medications, and may be required daily closer to the egg retrieval procedure. These appointments occur in the early morning, so plan to be available then during the two-week monitoring period.
Next are injections and the trigger shot. You’ll give yourself daily hormone injections leading up to egg retrieval. These stimulate the follicles (which contain eggs) to grow. The Dallas fertility center nurses will ensure that you’re comfortable with the injection technique. The trigger shot, the most important and final injection, occurs 36 hours before egg retrieval.
Egg retrieval involves an ultrasound-guided collection of the fluid in the follicles (where eggs develop) from both ovaries. You’ll be under light sedation with close monitoring during the half-hour process. You may have some discomfort, bloating and menstrual-type cramping afterward, but will be able to manage this with medication. Most people can go back to work the next day.
Vitrification is the name of the freezing process. Once the fluid is collected from the follicles, eggs are identified and placed in special solutions to remove water and protect them.
Results and next steps are covered as soon as the first business day after the procedure. Our Dallas fertility center will tell you the final number of mature eggs frozen. Your cryopreserved eggs will go in carefully monitored storage tanks until needed, and will be viable for months or years.
When you’re ready for pregnancy, some or all the frozen eggs will be thawed and fertilized via intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Fertilized eggs (embryos) are cultured in a laboratory. One or two of the best ones are transferred into the uterus via a thin transfer catheter at a specific time in the cycle.
Learn more about the egg freezing process
Egg freezing is a safe treatment that has yielded more than 1,000 normal births worldwide. You can learn whether you’re a candidate, then contact Dallas-Fort Worth Fertility Associates for further consultation.