Is Egg Freezing Right for You?

When to consider egg freezing?

  • You want to start a family but are not ready.
  • You are between the ages of 25 to 40 years old.
  • There is a medical need, endometriosis, a family history of early menopause, etc.
  • If you are undergoing ovarian surgery or starting a medication that could impact fertility.

Learn more about egg freezing by watching the egg freezing video.

How to get started?

As much as possible, we want to simplify your fertility journey. There are 2 ways to request a consultation with a member of the Mount Sinai Fertility care team:

  1. Request a consultation yourself
  2. Physician referral. We recommend a physician referral if you have any underlying medical conditions.
Join an Egg Freezing Zoom Webinar

Date: Tuesday, December 6th, 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

 

Egg freezing is about options. We are here to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision about your future fertility, whether you know you want children one day but aren’t ready yet, or if you’re still deciding whether having children is right for you.

 

In this Zoom conversation, we will discuss all things egg freezing – including the process, important considerations, and estimated costs. There will be time for questions at the end and an opportunity to sign up for a 1:1 consultation with our nurse practitioner at a later date.

 

We look forward to seeing you on the 6th!

Sign up for the webinar

Please give us your name and email address and we will send you a link for the Zoom Webinar.

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Request a Consultation

It’s simple!

  1. Click on and fill out the form below. When you are done, click on Request a Consultation.
  2. Your consultation request will be sent to our referral coordinator.
  3. Within 2 – 3 business days, a Mount Sinai Fertility team member will be in touch.

Mount Sinai Fertility collects and uses the information provided in this form for the purpose of booking a referral, in accordance with applicable privacy laws.

More information about our privacy practices is available here.

Request for Egg Freezing Consultation

Fill out the form below and our Referral Coordinator will contact you within 2 to 3 business days.

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Physician Referral

A physician referral is recommended if you would like to consult with your care team prior to your consultation.

  1. Visit your physician or care team and request a referral to Mount Sinai Fertility.
  2. Your physician can complete our physician referral form and fax it directly to our referral coordinator at 416-586-4648.
  3. Within 2 – 3 business days, a Mount Sinai Fertility team member will be in touch.
Using your frozen eggs – what is next?


When you are ready to use your eggs they will be thawed and fertilized on the same day.



Fertilization occurs through a process called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).



Once the eggs have been fertilized, they are placed in an incubator in our lab and monitored by our embryology team.



The embryos are monitored for 3-7 days. If there has been appropriate development, an embryo is transferred to the patient’s uterus using a small catheter (tube) through the cervix under ultrasound guidance. Additional developed embryos can be frozen for future use.

Success Rates

Although some eggs are expected to not survive the freeze/thaw process, on average 80% of the eggs will survive and be fertilized.

Freeze/thaw egg survival rates are improving as technology improves.

There are some patient characteristics which may be associated with lower expectations and your clinical team will explain when identified.

Sources:

1.Cobo A., Garcia-Valasco J.A., Coello A. et al. Oocyte vitrification as an efficient option for elective fertility preservation. Fertility and Sterility. 2016:105(3);755-764.
2.Doyle J.O., Richter K.S., Lim J. et al. Successful elective and medically indicated oocyte vitrification and warming for autologous in vitro fertilization, with predicted birth probabilities for fertility preservation according to number of cryopreserved oocytes and age at retrieval. Fertility and Sterility. 2016:105;459-466.

What is the egg freezing process?

Priming Prepares The Ovaries For Stimulation

Most cycles start with a preparation month called “priming.” Before you start any fertility medications, you will take either estrogen tablets or the birth control pill for 1 – 3 weeks to calm the ovaries. This helps to ensure the follicles develop at the same rate.

Ovaries Are Stimulated To Produce Multiple Eggs

After your priming month, you will take injectable fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce and grow more mature eggs. Most people need to take injectable fertility medications every day for 9 to 12 days. During this time, we will do blood tests and internal (transvaginal) ultrasounds to track the development of the follicles in your ovaries. While taking the fertility medications, you will need to see us about 4 to 6 times. These appointments are scheduled in the early morning. You may be asked to return every one to two days until you are ready for the egg retrieval procedure. Once your follicles have developed to an appropriate size and number, you will be prescribed a medication that helps the developing eggs complete their maturation process. The timing of this medication is very important. Your fertility care team will give you specific instructions on the time to perform this injection.

Mature Eggs Are Removed From The Ovaries

The egg retrieval procedure is when eggs are removed from your ovaries using a needle and an internal ultrasound. The needle travels through a special cover attached to the internal ultrasound probe. It passes through the vagina and into each ovary. The follicles are drained and all the fluid sent to the lab. The embryologists working the in the lab carefully examine the fluid under the microscope to find the eggs. The doctor will give you sedative medications through an IV before the procedure begins, to help relax you and provide pain relief. While you will not be asleep, you should be comfortable. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, you will stay in our recovery area for about 1 hour before going home.

Eggs Are Frozen Using Vitrification Technology

The vitrification method of egg freezing addresses this key problem. Egg vitrification is a “flash freezing” method in which cells are immersed directly into liquid nitrogen, cooling them so quickly to -196ºC that they become “glass-like” or “vitrified.” While the slow freezing technique takes hours, vitrification is completed nearly instantly, significantly reducing the chance that ice crystals will form and damage the cell.

Egg thawing, fertilization and embryo transfer

When you decide to use your frozen eggs in the future, the eggs will be thawed and fertilized the same day using an ICSI (sperm injection) procedure. Fertilization occurs when the egg and sperm join together to form an embryo. During ICSI, sperm are individually chosen and mechanically placed into an egg for fertilization.

 

Approximately 85% of eggs survive freezing and thawing, and approximately 70% of the surviving eggs will fertilize.

 

Once the eggs have been fertilized, they are placed in an incubator and monitored by our embryology team. After 3 or 5 days, a Mount Sinai Fertility Physician then transfers the fertilized eggs (embryos) to the patient. An ultrasound is used to see the uterus, and the embryos are placed in the uterus using a small catheter (tube) through the cervix.

Success Rates

While success rates have become much higher – egg freezing is still not a guarantee. About 85% of eggs will survive the freezing and thawing, and chances of pregnancy per egg is about 6.4%. Pregnancy rates per freezing cycle are on average 25%, but can range from less than 5% to higher than 60% depending on how old you are when your eggs are frozen and the number of eggs you freeze.

Birth defects

There is an increased risk of birth defects associated with pregnancy by IVF and ICSI. IVF treatment also includes other pregnancy risks including the chance of high blood pressured, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature delivery, operative delivery and having a small baby.

 

Other risks

Additionally, you should consider that becoming pregnant at a later age also carries risks including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery, cesarean birth and low birth weight.

When to consider egg freezing

If you plan on conceiving later in life, you may benefit from using eggs that are frozen now, while you are younger, instead of trying to conceive at an older age when egg quality is reduced and pregnancy rates from those eggs are lower.

 

Some patients choose egg freezing to focus on growing their career, achieving financial stability or finding a stable relationship. This choice allows them to worry less about the effect of age on fertility. The method also maintains the potential opportunity to be genetically related to your future child.

 

Egg freezing also benefits patients who have a medical condition known to reduce fertility over time, such as endometriosis or a family history of early menopause. You may also want to consider egg freezing if you will be undergoing ovarian surgery or before beginning a medication that may impair fertility.

 

While success rates have become much higher – egg freezing is still not a guarantee. About 85% of eggs will survive the freezing and thawing, and chances of pregnancy per egg is about 6.4%. Pregnancy rates per freezing cycle are on average 25%, but can range from less than 5% to higher than 60% depending on how old you are when your eggs are frozen and the number of eggs you freeze.

What are the steps involved?

Before starting treatment, you will meet with a Mount Sinai Fertility Physician or Nurse Practitioner for an initial consultation. We will discuss your goals for egg freezing, the procedure, and advise you on your likelihood of successfully becoming pregnant in the future from frozen-thawed eggs.

The procedure includes many steps:

Priming Prepares The Ovaries For Stimulation

Most cycles start with a preparation month called “priming.” Before you start any fertility medications, you will take either estrogen tablets or the birth control pill for 1 – 3 weeks to calm the ovaries. This helps to ensure the follicles develop at the same rate.

Ovaries Are Stimulated To Produce Multiple Eggs

After your priming month, you will take injectable fertility medications to stimulate your ovaries to produce and grow more mature eggs. Most people need to take injectable fertility medications every day for 9 to 12 days. During this time, we will do blood tests and internal (transvaginal) ultrasounds to track the development of the follicles in your ovaries. While taking the fertility medications, you will need to see us about 4 to 6 times. These appointments are scheduled in the early morning. You may be asked to return every one to two days until you are ready for the egg retrieval procedure. Once your follicles have developed to an appropriate size and number, you will be prescribed a medication that helps the developing eggs complete their maturation process. The timing of this medication is very important. Your fertility care team will give you specific instructions on the time to perform this injection.

Mature Eggs Are Removed From The Ovaries

The egg retrieval procedure is when eggs are removed from your ovaries using a needle and an internal ultrasound. The needle travels through a special cover attached to the internal ultrasound probe. It passes through the vagina and into each ovary. The follicles are drained and all the fluid sent to the lab. The embryologists working the in the lab carefully examine the fluid under the microscope to find the eggs. The doctor will give you sedative medications through an IV before the procedure begins, to help relax you and provide pain relief. While you will not be asleep, you should be comfortable. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, you will stay in our recovery area for about 1 hour before going home.

Eggs Are Frozen Using Vitrification Technology

The vitrification method of egg freezing addresses this key problem. Egg vitrification is a “flash freezing” method in which cells are immersed directly into liquid nitrogen, cooling them so quickly to -196ºC that they become “glass-like” or “vitrified.” While the slow freezing technique takes hours, vitrification is completed nearly instantly, significantly reducing the chance that ice crystals will form and damage the cell.

Egg thawing, fertilization and embryo transfer

When you decide to use your frozen eggs in the future, the eggs will be thawed and fertilized the same day using an ICSI (sperm injection) procedure. Fertilization occurs when the egg and sperm join together to form an embryo. During ICSI, sperm are individually chosen and mechanically placed into an egg for fertilization.

 

Approximately 85% of eggs survive freezing and thawing, and approximately 70% of the surviving eggs will fertilize.

 

Once the eggs have been fertilized, they are placed in an incubator and monitored by our embryology team. After 3 or 5 days, a Mount Sinai Fertility Physician then transfers the fertilized eggs (embryos) to the patient. An ultrasound is used to see the uterus, and the embryos are placed in the uterus using a small catheter (tube) through the cervix.

Pregnancy risks

Birth defects

There is an increased risk of birth defects associated with pregnancy by IVF and ICSI. IVF treatment also includes other pregnancy risks including the chance of high blood pressured, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature delivery, operative delivery and having a small baby.

 

Other risks

Additionally, you should consider that becoming pregnant at a later age also carries risks including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery, cesarean birth and low birth weight.

How much does egg freezing cost?

Visit our Fees page to learn more about the costs of egg freezing.