What is Fertility Preservation (egg freezing)?
Fertility preservation is an option for women who are not ready to start a family yet and want to preserve their egg quality in the event they decide to start a family in the future. Fertility preservation may be a personal choice due to delayed family building or it may be recommended before starting chemotherapy treatment if the woman does not have children or desires to have children the future. We participate with the Livestrong fertility discount program for cancer patients and provide reduced costs for those who desire fertility preservation before beginning cancer treatment.
Many women today are delaying childbirth due to professional career opportunities or simply because they haven’t met the right person yet. Egg quality begins to decline starting at age 30 and keeps decreasing thereafter. By age 40, it becomes even more difficult to achieve pregnancy naturally.
With fertility preservation, the woman’s eggs are frozen (cryopreserved) and the quality of her eggs is essentially frozen in time. Women have the option to freeze their eggs at their current age for future use later on in life when they decide the time is right to start a family. The single most factors that affect the ability to achieve pregnancy at an advanced age is the quality of the eggs produced by the woman. Freezing ones eggs when they are under age 30 or in their early 30’s will give them an increased change of achieving pregnancy versus trying to achieve pregnancy through In-Vitro Fertilization at a more advanced age
In addition, advanced maternal age is a known factor for down syndrome and other chromosomal defects. After age 35, the risk of having a child with down syndrome starts to increase rather quickly and becomes higher as the woman enters her 40’s. Poor egg quality from advanced maternal age can also lead to miscarriages.
Declining egg quality is something unfortunately all women experience as they age. This is why fertility preservation can be an important tool if the woman wants to delay childbirth into her later years and wants to increase her chances of a healthy pregnancy. Fortunately, for men, the quality of their sperm typically does not decline significantly with age and men can father children at an advanced age. Fertility Preservation and Egg Freezing is available at our Jacksonville Fertility Clinic.
What is the fertility preservation process for women?
The process of fertility preservation is similar to the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process. The woman takes fertility injections to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. She is then monitored by ultrasound and blood work until the eggs reach the correct size indicating maturity. Then the woman is given an injection which causes her ovulate and the egg retrieval procedure is scheduled.
During the egg retrieval procedure, a thin needle is inserted through the vagina and into each ovary to extract the eggs. This procedure is performed under IV sedation, so there is no pain during the procedure and the woman is not awake. The procedure takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. There is no hospital stay required and women go homeone hour after the procedure. Some women have mild cramping and/or spotting after the procedure. Once the eggs have been carefully extracted, they are cryopreserved (frozen) for future use.
Once frozen, they are typically sent to a long term storage facility where they will remain until the woman is ready to use them. Once the woman desires to use them, they are sent to a fertility lab of her choice and the eggs simply need to be thawed and mixed with partners sperm like traditional in-vitro fertilization or donor sperm if needed. During this time, the woman’s uterus is prepared to accept the embryos. Once the fertilized eggs develops into an embryos, an embryo transfer appointment is scheduled and the embryo/embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus. This procedure is similar to a pap smear and causes minimal discomfort, if any.
What is the success of fertility preservation?
Many women use fertility preservation as an extra insurance to increase their chances of pregnancy once they have reached an advanced age and their egg quality is no longer good. For the highest success rates, it is recommended that the eggs be frozen while the woman is under age 35 and while her egg quality is still naturally good. According to SART(Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology) in 2014, the live birth rate for previously frozen thawed embryos in women under age 35 is approximate 44%.
If the woman decided to not freeze her eggs before age 35 and attempt IVF treatment for the very first time between the age of 38-40, the live birth rate would only be 21%. If she were to attempt IVF treatment for the first time at age 41-42, the live birth rate would drop to 11%. If the woman had chosen to preserve her fertility and freeze her eggs before age 35, and then decided to thaw them at age 39, the chance of success would be 44%.
How much does it cost for fertility preservation?
Egg freezing is available at our Florida fertility clinic for $6,000 including anesthesia and egg cryopreservation. We offer a discounted medication program to help reduce the cost of the medications needed for fertility preservation. When purchased through our clinic, patients can save around $2,000 on average when purchasing the required medications. The breakdown of cost for Fertility preservation at our Jacksonville fertility center is listed below.
|Ovarian Stimulation and Egg Retrieval (includes all ultrasounds and blood-work)||$5,000|
|Cryopreservation of eggs||$650|
|Discounted Fertility Preservation Medications estimate||$1,000-$2,500|
If you are interested in fertility preservation, contact us at 1-800-777-4831 to speak with one of our nurses who can book you an appointment to see Dr. Shaykh.