Whether you want to postpone pregnancy or you have a medical condition that affects your fertility, egg freezing may preserve your ability to have a baby in the future. Serving the greater Los Angeles area, including Manhattan Beach and Long Beach, Matthew Macer, MD, at Macer Fertility Center specializes in fertility preservation procedures such as egg freezing, using his expertise and a state-of-the-art facility to ensure optimal success. The process is quick and takes about 10-12 days from start to finish. To learn more about egg freezing or to learn if you’re a good candidate, call the office in Beverly Hills/West LA, Rolling Hills Estates, or Pasadena, California, or book an appointment online.
Egg freezing is a process in which a woman’s eggs are retrieved, frozen, and stored in liquid nitrogen. When you’re ready to become pregnant, the eggs are carefully thawed and fertilized in the lab with your partner’s or a donor’s sperm. Several days later, the embryos are placed into your uterus.
While it’s not technically egg freezing, you also have another alternative. You may choose to fertilize the eggs first, then freeze the embryos for future implantation into your uterus.
Egg freezing is also called elective fertility preservation, which simply highlights the fact that this is an elective or personal decision that women make for many different reasons. Dr. Macer believes that every woman should be in charge of her own future, and by freezing eggs, he can help relieve any stress of needing to become pregnant by a certain age. There is no optimal age to freeze your eggs, but the quality and number of eggs remaining in the ovaries decrease over time, so don’t hesitate and at least come in for a consult!
Alternatively, many women make the decision to freeze their eggs because they have a medical problem that will affect their ability to get pregnant, such as:
Since chemotherapy and radiation can damage your eggs and/or your ovaries, it’s important to talk with Dr. Macer about egg preservation as soon as you learn about your diagnosis.
The eggs in your ovaries must mature before they can be removed and frozen. For 1-2 weeks, you’ll receive injections of medications that promote egg maturation. During that time, Dr. Macer closely monitors your ovaries using ultrasound and blood tests.
When the tests show your eggs are mature, they’re gently removed from your ovaries. Dr. Macer uses ultrasound imaging to guide a needle through your vagina and into the ovary and withdraws the eggs, and then they’re quickly frozen.
In vitro maturation shortens the process by removing immature eggs and then maturing them in the lab. You may need to consider in vitro maturation if a cancer requires rapid treatment and you can’t wait 1-2 weeks for the eggs to mature. In some cases, you may not be able to take the medications needed to force egg maturation due to having a certain type of cancer.
If you have questions about egg freezing, call Macer Fertility Center or book an appointment online.