Though you might have goals to start a family and have children one day, unexpected health concerns or issues may threaten your future fertility. Fortunately, cryogenic technology has become sophisticated and reliable enough to provide many advanced options for preserving fertility following a cancer diagnosis or other illness that may require treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. Ovum freezing can allow women to preserve healthy eggs that may otherwise become damaged during medical treatments, providing the opportunity to seek assisted reproduction services following successful treatment of a given illness. At ReproMed, we provide our patients with all the information they need about ovum freezing, as well as many opportunities to ask questions and discuss alternatives. For patients who do choose this procedure, here is a look at the basic timeline of ovum freezing.
Deciding to Freeze Eggs
The decision to freeze your eggs may come after a medical diagnosis indicating a certain type of treatment that may harm your eggs and reproductive organs. In other cases, ovum freezing may be appropriate as a fertility preservation procedure for women looking to pursue other life goals prior to having children, since the quality of eggs will decline substantially with age. Because the process requires the use of hormonal medication to stimulate the ovaries, it is important to understand the complete medical process by speaking with a Reproductive Specialist.
Screening and Stimulation
Once you have made your decision to pursue treatment, your doctor will schedule blood testing, ultrasounds, and possibly other screening procedures to assess your health and the health of your eggs. If you are a good candidate for ovum freezing, you will then be prescribed medication to stimulate the ovaries to help produce multiple eggs during ovulation. Typically, medication is taken daily for ten days, and the retrieval is done on the 12 th day.
Eggs are retrieved through a trans-vaginal procedure, which is a minor procedure that will take place in the clinical operating setting. Though the procedure is completed in one day, it is still worth discussing all potential risks and complications with your doctor prior to scheduling egg retrieval. The retrieval itself takes approximately 7 minutes.
Finally, eggs will be selected based on their viability for future reproductive use, and the healthiest will be cryogenically frozen. Patients will then need to determine their storage contract for the frozen oocytes. This can be done on an annual or 5-year pre-paid basis.
Facing a difficult medical diagnosis can leave you with many uncertainties, but ReproMed can help you restore your peace of mind with our advanced technologies for fertility assessment and preservation. To request a consultation in our Toronto practice, visit our website or give us a call today at (972) 494-5438.