Are you considering freezing your eggs to preserve your fertility for the future?
While egg freezing offers hope, there are a few things you should know before diving in. The truth is, egg freezing isn’t a guarantee and your frozen eggs may not lead to a baby down the road.
Read this blog, before you empty your savings to freeze your eggs. Also, make sure you understand the likelihood of success and your other family-building options.
Is Egg Freezing All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
The Real Deal on Success Rates
You’ve probably seen the ads from egg-freezing companies touting high success rates and a guarantee of future fertility. But here’s the truth they may not advertise – egg freezing success rates aren’t nearly as high as you might think.
According to recent studies, the chance of a live birth from a frozen egg is only around 2 to 12% per egg for women under 38 years. That means if you freeze 10-15 eggs in your early 30s, you only have a 20-60% chance of one live birth. Those aren’t great odds.
The reality is egg freezing technology still isn’t perfected, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Eggs can be damaged during the freezing and thawing process. And even if an egg survives intact, that doesn’t mean it will fertilize or develop normally. Egg quality also starts to decline rapidly after age 35, so the younger you are the better. But there are still no guarantees.
Egg freezing isn’t cheap. One cycle can cost $10,000 or more. And if you want a good chance of success, you’ll likely need to do multiple cycles to retrieve enough quality eggs. There are also annual storage fees to keep your eggs frozen, which typically run a few hundred dollars per year at minimum.
While egg freezing offers hope, go in with realistic expectations about success rates and costs. For the best chance of having a baby in the future, don’t rely entirely on your frozen eggs. Consider also freezing embryos if you have a partner, or looking into donor eggs as another option. The technology may improve, but there are still no sure bets when it comes to fertility.
The Real Success Rates of Egg Freezing No One Discusses
Have you considered freezing your eggs for the future?
As an option for fertility preservation, egg freezing seems like an ideal solution. But there are a few things to know about how likely it is to lead to a successful pregnancy down the road.
The Real Numbers
The truth is, that egg freezing success rates are hard to determine definitively. According to recent studies, women under 35 years who freeze 15 mature eggs have a cumulative 80% chance of achieving at least one live birth. However, a lot depends on individual factors.
The number of eggs retrieved and their quality play a huge role. More eggs mean more opportunities for fertilization and viable embryos. Egg quality naturally declines with age, so younger women tend to have better outcomes.
- A typical egg-freezing cycle yields 8-15 eggs on average, but some women produce many more or less. More eggs banked increase your chances.
- Pregnancy rates per transferred embryo for frozen eggs are slightly lower than for fresh IVF cycles. The egg freezing and thawing processes can impact egg viability.
- The majority of women who use their frozen eggs do multiple IVF cycles to achieve pregnancy. It often takes a few tries.
While the odds of success are good, especially if you’re under 35, there are no guarantees. The truth is, until you thaw and fertilize the eggs, you won’t know their viability. But with realistic expectations about the number of eggs needed and the possibility of multiple IVF cycles, egg freezing can be a great way to preserve your future fertility. The choice is ultimately a very personal one, but go in with your eyes open to what the real success rates are.
Hidden Costs and Expenses
When budgeting for egg freezing, don’t just consider the upfront procedure and storage fees. There are additional hidden costs to keep in mind so you’re not caught off guard.
The initial consultation and screening tests will run you a few hundred dollars. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and counseling are all part of determining if you’re a good candidate for egg retrieval and ensuring the process will be safe for you.
Medications to stimulate your ovaries and increase egg production make up a sizable chunk of the total expense. Plan on $3,000 to $5,000 per cycle for the stimulating drugs. The exact protocol and dosages will depend on your test results and doctor’s recommendations. Multiple cycles may be needed to retrieve enough viable eggs.
There are fees for the egg retrieval procedure itself, anesthesia, and the embryology lab where eggs are collected, evaluated, and then frozen. This can amount to $6,000 to $12,000 or more per cycle. The embryology lab charge pays for specialized equipment, trained technicians, and careful monitoring of your eggs before and during the freezing process.
Don’t forget annual storage fees which typically run a few hundred dollars the first year and increase slightly each year after that. While eggs can be frozen indefinitely, you will need to pay the storage fees as long as you want to keep your eggs frozen for potential future use.
Unexpected costs may also come up. If abnormal results are found in your initial tests, further testing or procedures may be recommended adding to the total bill. The unpredictability of a woman’s ovaries and egg production means that additional medication or monitoring may be needed for some to achieve the desired number of mature eggs.
However, you’re looking at possibly $15,000 to $30,000 or more for a complete egg-freezing cycle. Make sure you understand all potential fees before starting the process so you can financially and emotionally prepare for the journey ahead. While expensive, freezing your eggs when you’re young and fertile may give you priceless options and peace of mind for the future.
What to Expect During the Egg Retrieval Process
So, you’ve decided to freeze your eggs to preserve your fertility—congratulations! This is an important choice that gives you more options for the future. But the process itself can be quite involved. Here’s what to expect during the egg retrieval part of your egg-freezing journey.
Before the Procedure
In the weeks leading up to your egg retrieval, you’ll give yourself daily injections of fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs at once. These medications can cause side effects like bloating, cramping, and mood changes. The injections typically continue for 8-14 days until your eggs are ready to be retrieved.
The Egg Retrieval
For the actual procedure, you’ll be under sedation so you’ll feel very little discomfort. A needle is inserted through the vaginal wall to access the ovaries and follicles. The follicular fluid containing the eggs is then aspirated from each follicle. The entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes.
After the egg retrieval, you’ll rest in a recovery area for a few hours before going home. You may experience soreness, bloating, or cramping for a couple of days. Over-the-counter pain medication can help relieve any discomfort. Light activity is encouraged, but avoid exercise, hot tubs, and intercourse for a week.
Most women can return to normal activities within a day or two, but you’ll need to limit stress and continue avoiding alcohol, smoking, and caffeine for a while longer. Your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the maturation and fertilization of your eggs.
Egg retrieval is a key step in preserving your fertility, even though it can be an emotionally and physically taxing process. But knowing you’ve taken control of this important choice for your future can make it worth the effort. By understanding exactly what’s involved, you’ll feel more at ease going into your procedure. And with the support of your doctor and clinic team, your egg-freezing journey will be a success.
Egg freezing is a big step, but the journey doesn’t end there. Staying proactive about your reproductive health and having a plan in place for the next steps will set you up for the best chance of success when you’re ready to use those frozen eggs. The opportunity to have children when the time is right is worth the extra effort. Stay optimistic—your little frozen eggs could hold your future!
So there you have it, the nitty-gritty details about egg freezing and what it may mean for your future fertility plans. While the technology has come a long way and success rates are climbing, there are still no guarantees. The truth is, you just don’t know how your body will respond or how many eggs you’ll get until you go through a cycle. But with realistic expectations about success rates and costs, egg freezing can be an option worth considering if you want to press pause on the biological clock. Just remember, your fertility is deeply personal, so make the choice that feels right for you. The future is yours to shape, so take a deep breath and listen to your heart. You’ve got this!