10 things you should know if you want to freeze your eggs

10 things you should know if you want to freeze your eggs

Does it hurt?

Egg Retrieval is painless. It is carried out by means of a simple vaginal procedure, and the patient is lightly sedated.

What’s the right age for preserving my eggs?

Whilst there is no minimum nor maximum age, it is advisable to undergo the procedure before 35 years of age in order to obtain a sufficient number of good quality eggs because, from 35 years of age onwards, there tends to be a decrease in both their quantity and quality.

How long does it take? How many check-ups will I have to have?

The gynaecologist will design a stimulation protocol that takes between 8 and 10 days. In order to obtain the largest possible number of oocytes, patients need to go to the health clinic an average of three times to have ultrasound scans. They are used in order to determine the most appropriate doses of hormones for each woman and optimise the response of the ovaries.

Will I need to take time off work?

No, this won’t be necessary. Egg retrieval is a simple process that takes around 15 minutes and you will only need to take time off work on the day the procedure takes place. Afterwards, it is recommendable to spend the afternoon resting and to avoid driving.

How often will I have to go through the process? Will once be enough?

The purpose of stimulation is to achieve an appropriate number of eggs. Personalising the process and medication are key in ensuring that the largest possible number of eggs are retrieved in a single ovarian retrieval. Should an insufficient number of eggs be retrieved – for example when ovarian reserve has diminished due to age – an additional cycle is recommended in order to increase the accumulated quantity of eggs.

Up until what age will I have in order to use the frozen eggs?

Once the eggs have been cryopreserved, they remain in the same condition and do not deteriorate. They do not become damaged over time. However, it should be kept in mind that the age limit in Spain for women to have assisted reproduction treatment is around 51.

The time has come to have a child. What do I need to do now in order to use my cryopreserved eggs?

A simple process that does not require hormones nor ovarian stimulation begins. It’s only necessary to prepare the body for receiving the embryo and schedule the right time for implanting. Meanwhile, the eggs will be thawed and fertilised using the male partner’s sperm in the laboratory and the resulting embryo is transferred to the mother’s uterus. Embryos that are not transferred can be frozen for future courses of treatment.

How can I become a mother if I haven’t got a male partner?

Women who decide to become single mothers can use donor sperm. The eggs are fertilised using sperm bank and once the child is born it is legally registered as the child of a single-parent family.

Can cryopreservation have an adverse impact on the future baby?

Vitrification will not have an impact on the future child. There are no differences between children born following in vitro fertilisation using frozen oocytes or embryos and those born following pregnancy during a natural cycle.

I do not wish to use my cryopreserved eggs. What can I choose to do with them?

If, in the end, a patient decides not to use her frozen eggs, she can choose what to do with them. There are three possible options. One of them consists of donating the eggs so that other couples can have the opportunity of becoming parents. They can also be donated to science or discarded.

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