What does the egg freezing process involve?

Although the following are highlights of the process that are hopefully helpful in terms of providing a general overview, consultation with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) provides more detailed information regarding the oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) process.  Female age and ovarian reserve testing are the two most important predictors of a successful egg freezing cycle.  Tests for ovarian reserve, such as serum anti-müllerian hormone (AMH), follicle-stimulating hormone/estradiol (FSH/E2), or antral follicle counts (AFC) provide information regarding the potential ovarian response to injectable fertility medications that grow follicles which contain oocytes (eggs).  Based on a woman’s age and ovarian reserve test results, medication protocol is designed and subsequently implemented in order to maximize the oocyte yield from an egg retrieval cycle.  The injectable medications and protocols that are used to grow follicles for oocyte cryopreservation case are the same types of protocols and medications that are used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) cases.  Egg retrieval is performed with the patient under intravenous anesthetics and generally takes about 15 minutes to complete.  After oocyte retrieval, oocytes that are mature, which have the potential for future fertilization, are cryopreserved via a fast-freeze process also known as “vitrification”.