Egg Freezing, Embryo Banking, and Your Future Family

Cryopreservation Ushers in a New Era of Fertility Preservation

In our age of modern science and advanced fertility treatment, there are options for women and families that were inconceivable just a decade ago. In vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates improve every year. We can now digitally track ovulation for improved chances of conception. Innovative tech companies like Facebook and Google even include fertility treatment as part of their corporate health insurance. However, one of the most remarkable, revolutionary breakthroughs in our field is the advancement of fertility preservation. Egg freezing and embryo banking are now attractive options for young women looking to delay the start of their family until the time is right. Furthermore, women undergoing medical procedures that may harm their fertility can now preserve their healthy eggs or embryos beforehand. The marvels of modern science have completely changed the way we think about family planning.

Egg Freezing vs. Embryo Cryopreservation

Egg freezing and embryo banking are similar in nature, as they both involve fertility preservation in the form of cryopreservation. However, there are several major differences between the two procedures and their results.

Egg freezing is the process of retrieving a woman’s healthy, unfertilized eggs and using cryopreservation to sustain their viability until the woman is ready to use them. On the other hand, the egg has already been fertilized via IVF treatment in the process of embryo banking. Fertilization is performed with partner or donor sperm, and is then frozen until the woman or couple is ready for conception, pregnancy, and family.

Pregnancy Success Rates

Success rates for pregnancy and live birth are a primary concern for women who receive these fertility treatments. While egg freezing has a typical pregnancy success rate of about 30%, embryo banking results in pregnancy nearly 50% of the time. This discrepancy is due to the fact that only some of the frozen eggs survive the thawing process when the time for fertilization has arrived. However, the pregnancy and live birth rates for patients at Lane Fertility Institute are much higher than the national average for both egg freezing and embryo cryopreservation. We take great pride in being an industry leader in successful conception, healthy pregnancy, and live birth rates.

Candidates for Egg Freezing and Embryo Banking

It should also be noted that the candidates for egg freezing and embryo banking differ in one significant manner. It is true that both methods of fertility preservation can be used for women facing fertility challenges or those looking to delay the beginning of their family. However, in order to be a candidate for embryo banking, the woman must have a partner or donor sperm for fertilization. If the patient does not have sperm available for the IVF process, egg freezing will be their primary option for fertility preservation.

Frozen Egg and Embryo Storage

Various fertility clinics have their own specific guidelines for frozen egg and embryo storage after cryopreservation. However, the process usually begins with the signing of a legal storage agreement by the patient after the successful procedure. The main consideration for this document is exactly how long the frozen eggs or embryos will be preserved by the fertility center. This time frame refers to the maximum length of storage without an amendment to the agreement or inception of the thawing process. Whenever the patient is ready to use the eggs or embryos to attempt conception, they will contact their Oncofertility physician to begin the process.

If you would like more information regarding your many options for egg freezing, embryo banking, or fertility preservation, please contact our experienced staff today.

Author
Dr. Danielle Lane Danielle E Lane, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist

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