Our fertility specialists explain the egg freezing process
Nashville Fertility Center is proud to provide fertility preservation to help women take control of their fertility. Our Nashville egg freezing specialists believe that all women should be able to decide if and when they would like to have a baby. To help you decide if egg freezing is right for you, our egg freezing specialists explain the egg freezing process.
Egg freezing process mimics the first steps of IVF
The goal of the egg freezing process is to produce, retrieve and store multiple eggs. As a result, the egg freezing procedure is similar to the first steps of the IVF process, which also involves producing and retrieving multiple eggs.
- Ovarian stimulation requires a woman to take fertility medication, which will cause multiple eggs to mature and develop in her ovaries. While she is taking this medication, her egg freezing specialist will monitor her through blood tests and ultrasounds, and adjust her dosage of medication, if necessary.
- Egg retrieval occurs when the woman’s eggs mature. During a brief outpatient procedure, the woman will receive light anesthesia to keep her comfortable while one of our Nashville egg freezing specialists retrieves her mature eggs.
Next step in the process: freezing the eggs
After the egg freezing specialist retrieves the woman’s eggs, it is time for the embryologist to freeze the eggs. Unlike embryos, eggs are very sensitive to damage during freezing and thawing. Without the right freezing and thawing procedures, eggs can experience membrane hardening and damage to their chromosomes.
Our Nashville egg freezing specialists use our experience and a freezing process known as vitrification, a flash freezing process, to avoid damaging eggs. During vitrification, one of our embryologists uses a special cryoprotectant that transforms the liquid inside an egg into a glass-like solid. Since eggs are composed of 70-80% water, vitrification prevents the formation of ice crystals that could damage the chromosomes inside the egg.
Eggs can remain frozen indefinitely. When a woman is ready to use her eggs, they will be thawed in our laboratory. One of our embryologists will combine the eggs with her partner’s sperm or donor sperm to allow for fertilization. Then, one or more of the resulting embryos will be transferred to the women’s uterus, while the remaining embryos can be frozen for later use.
If you would like to learn more about egg freezing at Nashville Fertility Center, please contact us today. We are committed to helping women become mothers when they’re ready.