To start the egg freezing process, ovarian stimulation precedes egg freezing
Egg freezing is a multi-step process that includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval and freezing. Experts have recently seen impressive success rates with egg freezing, thanks to vitrification—an ultra-rapid freezing technique that helps reduce damage to the egg during the freezing and thawing process.
The goal of the egg freezing process at Texas Fertility Center is to safely retrieve as many healthy eggs as possible to optimize the chance for success later.
Assessing your ovarian reserve before stimulation
Prior to starting the egg freezing process one of our Austin egg freezing specialists will perform blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound to assess your ovarian reserve. This will help estimate the likelihood for a successful egg freezing cycle and will also help to determine the dose of fertility medication needed to stimulate the ovaries. Together we will determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for egg freezing.
How the ovaries are stimulated: To yield multiple eggs, your fertility specialist will instruct you to begin treatment with follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). This medication is injected subcutaneously (just underneath the skin) with a small needle and is used to stimulate the growth of follicles in your ovaries. Follicles are small fluid-filled sacks in the ovaries where eggs develop and mature.
The goal of ovarian stimulation: The goal of stimulation is to produce a good amount of healthy eggs that have the potential to create a viable pregnancy down the road. However the number of eggs produced during ovarian stimulation varies from woman to woman. Typically, younger women produce more eggs than older women.
Expect careful monitoring during your stimulation cycle: Your physician will closely monitor your progress while you are on daily hormone injections, usually a period of 7 to 15 days. Follow-up visits to our Austin fertility center will include vaginal ultrasounds to monitor the development of the follicles and blood tests to measure estrogen levels to measure your response to the FSH injections.
When the largest follicles are mature—typically 19 to 20 mm in diameter—the egg retrieval process will be scheduled. This in-house procedure takes place at Ovation Fertility Austin. You will be comfortably sedated during the 10-15 minute process while a needle is used to obtain the eggs. The eggs are then examined under the microscope; those eggs that are mature can then be frozen.
To learn more about how ovaries are stimulated for the egg freezing process, make an appointment with one of our Austin egg freezing specialists.