Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Egg Freezing

Egg freezing is increasingly being discussed nowadays. This concept is associated with fertility “preservation”, since the current trend is to delay childbearing and it is not considered whether there are also other indications for freezing eggs. Thus, this process uses several techniques to preserve the eggs in a safe way for a more or less prolonged period of time and, when they are going to be used, they have not been damaged in order to be successfully fertilized.

What is egg freezing used for?

This technique is mainly indicated for two cases:

  • Medical use: for patients diagnosed with a malignant disease, such as cancer, immunological disease, significant endometriosis, ovarian cysts, requiring resection of part of the ovary, or in patients with little response to ovarian stimulation, requiring several stimulations to make “bank” and then be able to use them. In some of these cases, it is urgent to carry out the treatment, since some patients need complementary treatments with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
  • Social” use: basically used for fertility preservation in patients who only wish to delay childbearing due to various circumstances. In these cases, patients should be fully informed about the possibilities offered by the process.

What does egg freezing consist of?

There are several techniques for freezing, although the safest is vitrification, which avoids the formation of crystals, which is what damages the oocyte. This process consists of vitrifying the embryos through culture media or cryoprotectants, which are stored in properly identified containers and then transferred to nitrogen containers at -196º C, where they will remain until they are used.

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How is the patient prepared for egg freezing?

Normally, patients are informed by the physician specialized in Assisted Reproduction about the preparation required for their treatment, since it depends on the patient’s condition. In cases of social preservation, there is time and the cycle can be planned. First of all, hormone and virology studies are performed, then the medication for the stimulation of the ovaries is administered and finally the eggs are extracted. Analyses always start with the period.

What is recommended after egg freezing?

Once the egg retrieval has been performed, there are a number of tips to follow:

  • Rest on the day of the egg retrieval
  • Do not have intercourse for the next four or five days.
  • Use oral analgesia (in case of pain).
  • Notify the hospital if you have any complications.
  • Return to the office after your period is over (to check your ovaries).

Are there any risks involved with egg freezing?

The egg retrieval process is a minor procedure but it requires anesthetic sedation and, like any procedure, it has risks both for the process itself and for the anesthesia. Therefore, patients are informed of everything that can happen before making any decision and of course before signing the informed consent form.