By Dr. Ginevra Mills MD, FRCSC, reproductive endocrinologist at Olive Fertility Centre
More and more women are choosing to freeze their eggs to plan for their future. Egg freezing allows you to preserve your fertility, giving you the possibility of having children later in life.
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing, also called oocyte cryopreservation, involves collecting your eggs and freezing them for later use. First, you’ll take hormone injections to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs all at once. Then, the eggs are removed through a minor surgical procedure done through the vagina. After eggs are removed, the viable eggs are flash frozen using specialized lab techniques. They can then be thawed at a later time, fertilized, and transferred back into your uterus for a pregnancy.
Who can benefit from egg freezing?
Whether you are focusing on your career, finishing school, haven’t found the right partner yet, or have medical issues, freezing your eggs allows you to keep your options open until you’re ready to start a family. It’s worth noting that the success of egg freezing is higher for younger women, so it’s something to consider sooner rather than later.
What to expect with egg freezing
It’s important to have realistic expectations about egg freezing. While it increases your chances of having a baby in the future, it doesn’t guarantee it. The quality of the eggs and other factors can affect the success rates. The younger you are when you freeze your eggs and the more eggs you have, the better your chances. Freezing your eggs before the age of 38 is ideal as success rates decline rapidly after the age of 38.
Financial aspects of egg freezing
While the egg freezing process is not covered in B.C. consultations with a fertility specialist and most fertility testing are covered by MSP (Medical Services Plan) with a referral from a family doctor or virtual medical clinic. Furthermore, some employer extended health plans are now covering the cost of egg freezing. Research your options, explore insurance coverage, and check if your employer provides any assistance.
Choosing a fertility clinic
When choosing a fertility clinic for egg freezing, consider two essential factors: success rates and the expertise of the lab. Look for a clinic with a strong history of successful outcomes and inquire about their frozen egg survival, fertilization rates, and pregnancies from thawed eggs.
In addition, look for a clinic that offers personalized care and support throughout the entire process, as compassionate and knowledgeable professionals who guide you every step of the way can make a substantial difference in your overall experience.
Egg freezing empowers you to take control of your fertility and family planning. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and seeking guidance from fertility experts is key. Take the time to explore your options and find what feels right for you.
Olive Fertility Centre offers patients the option to book a same-day, no-fee, virtual referral appointment with their referral partner, Rocket Doctor. Olive Fertility’s intake team will contact you to book your initial fertility appointment.
Dr. Ginevra Mills MD FRCSC is a fertility specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist) at Olive Fertility Centre Victoria. Dr. Mills is certified by both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.