retrieving eggs for freezing

Everything you need to know about egg freezing

A straightforward process that allows you to preserve your fertility and have kids later in life

By Anastasiia Timon and Anya Kern, co-founders of Blooming Eve
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Yaron Goikhman, MD
Updated September 4th 2023

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a medical procedure that has been used by thousands of women to help take control of their biological clock. It became more popular after 2012, when it was no longer considered "experimental", according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). While a woman's body produces fewer eggs as she gets older, her uterus can still grow an embryo at a later age. Because of this, you can use eggs that were frozen when you were younger and when you are ready to start a family.

The process of freezing eggs

Includes the following steps:
1. Fertility assessment (usually includes bloodwork and transvaginal ultrasound and is performed at a fertility doctor's office)
2. Preparation (including information on medications and lifestyle changes)
3. Stimulation (10-12 days of medication injections to stimulate the growth of follicles, future eggs)
4. Egg retrieval (15-minute simple surgical procedure performed under anesthesia)
5. Recovery (up to 7 days without intercourse and extensive exercising)

The whole process, or one cycle, takes around about 2.5 weeks to complete.

Why should you consider freezing your eggs?

The amount of eggs each woman is born with, as well as the quality of those eggs (the likelihood that an egg will produce a healthy child), decreases over time. After the age of 35, the change becomes even more pronounced, with >40% of women unable to conceive.

Although you can't stop this process, you may prepare for it in advance, and reproductive science has provided a remedy in the form of egg freezing. Egg freezing gives you an insurance policy and raises your chances of having a baby later if you wish to, regardless of whether you want children or are not even sure.

When should you freeze your eggs?

The overall recommendation is that the earlier, the better, and most doctors agree that the best age to freeze eggs is before 35 years old. Your most reproductive age is in your mid-20s, and the largest decrease in the number and quality of eggs (probability that egg will result in a healthy baby) happens after 35. It's important to understand that each case is individual, and for some women, the decline may happen sooner than for others.

How much does it cost to freeze eggs?

The cost of egg freezing without insurance can be anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000.
The cost of egg freezing with insurance depends on your coverage, and you should reach out to your insurance company to learn what is covered, if anything.

The price for one cycle (procedure) consists of 3 main elements:
1. Services billed by the clinic
2. Medication
3. Annual storage.

The price of the clinic is the major part of the cost ($2,500 to $18,000), and it varies a lot from clinic to clinic. Learn more about different elements of egg freezing cost or check the prices of fertility clinics near you.

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Medical risks and side effects of egg freezing

As with all medical procedures, egg freezing can have rare complications. The main risk during egg freezing is overstimulation of your ovaries - OHSS. Medium to severe OHSS happens in less than 1% of stimulation cycles, and doctors monitor your reaction closely to make sure you don't get OHSS. Symptoms include shortness of breath, gastric reflux, pain and vomiting. OHSS may improve on its own in mild cases; if it doesn't improve on its own, there is a way of treating that your doctor will recommend.

Most people feel good after the procedure, and severe symptoms are very rare. The most common side effects are fatigue and bloating during medication stimulation; some women feel very emotional during or after the egg-freezing process.

Afraid of shots and mixing medication on your own?

As a part of the process, you self-administer medication injections, but most women tolerate it very well. If you are afraid of shots, we can help you find a nurse to help you with medication.

Before you decide - learn more about how fertile you are

Before you decide on egg freezing, it is recommended to start with a fertility assessment. Knowing your baseline fertility will help you create a plan for your future family goals.
It will be tested by:
• bloodwork
• ultrasound
✔️ It is covered by most health insurance plans.
Request a fertility assessment at the best clinic in your area.

How to prepare for egg freezing

Some changes, if applied 1 to 3 months before starting your egg freezing cycle, may positively affect your results:
• weekly acupuncture treatment is proven by studies1 to improve fertility. Book your acupuncture for fertility.
• lifestyle changes
• nutrition adjustments

See examples of changes that can help prepare for egg freezing and improve your egg freezing  results (quality and quantity of eggs).

Bottom line

Egg freezing may seem overwhelming, Blooming Eve can help you navigate your fertility journey with our fertility support.

If you are ready to start, you can find a clinic near you under your budget using our database of fertility clinics.

What to look for while choosing a fertility clinic?

Fertility testing at home vs at a fertility clinic

Common misbeliefs about egg freezing

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