Egg and Embryo Freezing

Embryo Freezing

Sometimes more embryos are produced in an IVF cycle than can be safely transferred to the uterus without increasing the risk of high order multiple births.

When this is the case, the embryos can be frozen for use in future embryo transfer cycles. The main advantage of frozen embryo cycles is that expensive ovulation induction (FSH) medications are not required,and another oocyte retrieval is not necessary. The end result is a dramatically lowering total cost.

Our embryologist, Shari Olson, Ph.D. has extensive experience in successfully freezing and thawing embryos.

Egg (Oocyte) Freezing

Egg freezing is now being employed by some infertility clinics.
First attempts at egg freezing caused the formation of ice crystals that destroyed the cytoskeletal structure. Much of this pioneering work was done by Michael Tucker, Ph.D., H.C.L.D. A means to freeze the eggs while not damaging them had to be developed.

Eggs are now frozen using a process termed vitrification using special cryoprotectants which freeze the cells so rapidly that ice crystals cannot form. Most eggs survive the process undamaged and many will fertilize upon thawing.

Egg freezing is most often recommended for women before they undergo cancer chemotherapy or radiation. The eggs are retrieved before exposure to the toxic agents and can be used after completion of treatment.

Recently, there has been extensive press concerning younger women who want to preserve their fertility until later in life. For example, a 22 year old will freeze her eggs and use them when she is ready to start a family, perhaps in her late thirties. While this seems to provide greater reproductive freedom, it may not always be the best choice.

Egg freezing is a new technology being offered by many fertility clinics. It is extremely expensive involving ovulation induction to retrieve the eggs, egg storage fees, and an IVF cycle when ready to conceive. Often more than one IVF cycle is required.

There is are not enough data to state what percentage of frozen egg cycles result in live births. Regardless, IVF cycle success rates using fresh embryos are can often exceed 50%. At present, there is no reason to believe frozen eggs will produce higher success rates and they could be substantially lower.

Our Services

We provide all services for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility including an outstanding IVF and donor egg program.

We also offer intrauterine insemination (IUI), medical treatment, and advanced laparoscopic surgery.

Office Hours

Monday-Thursday 8AM - 5PM
Friday 8AM - 1PM

Our patients can reach us for emergencies 24 hours a day by calling our main number.

If your situation is life threatening, dial 911 or go directly to your local ER.