Social Egg Freezing – Why Could This Be the Perfect Gift to Yourself?
No matter where you turn these days, you will hear or read about egg freezing. If you are under the age of 39, it would be good to listen and participate in the conversation.
Because like birth control, the conversation is about your future family.
If you have already had your children, then please read and listen for your sister, your friend, your colleague.
The science and technology now exists to plan for a family that you are not yet ready for, to retain the ability to have that family when you are ready.
This conversation has a lot of different facets to it. It’s neither a simple, nor inexpensive procedure.
It is a simple and free conversation to have.
Elective Egg Freezing – Start the Conversation
At the end of April, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) is having an egg freezing event that could help determine how you plan for your family.
Let’s continue the conversation here, by starting with the basics.
Below you will find the information that lives on the RMACT website on egg freezing.
What you have to look forward to here on PathtoFertility is having two experts in the field of egg freezing discuss their areas of expertise in the next several weeks.
Dr. Spencer Richlin, Surgical Director of RMACT, will be sharing his thoughts with you on the how and why of egg freezing. What makes this procedure extraordinary? And is it for you?
Lisa Schuman, LCSW, RMACT’s Director of Mental Health Services, has written award-winning papers on the subject of elective egg freezing well before the conversation hit the media. Well-versed in what it means to women to avail themselves of this opportunity, she talks about the pro’s and con’s and asks you to consider things that aren’t apparent on the surface.
Let’s start here with the basics.
The conversation begins. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Getting Started with Freezing Your Eggs
Elective egg freezing is now more commonplace. Some women have chosen to freeze and store their eggs because they want to postpone pregnancy and are concerned about fertility preservation. These eggs can be thawed and combined with sperm at a later date for embryo transfer.
Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
We have patients who are about to start chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Prior to their chemotherapy regimen, we can stimulate their ovaries and retrieve eggs for freezing. This process can move quickly, sometimes taking only a few short weeks, allowing the patient time to store eggs and providing them with reproductive options in the future.
Oocyte Freezing : Freezing Your Eggs
Freezing and then thawing human eggs is a complicated process. The egg is relatively large and made mostly of water. Managing the process so that ice crystals do not form and damage the egg is a major challenge. The procedure used to freeze eggs at RMACT is called vitrification. Vitrification involves cooling eggs to a very cold temperature for a brief period of time (minutes) with sugar based cryoprotectants that protect the inner workings of the egg while at the same time allowing them to be frozen.
The oocyte cryopreservation cycle (egg freezing) follows the same protocol as in vitro fertilization (IVF), including the use of self-administered hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries followed by an egg retrieval. The eggs are placed in a protective medium, frozen immediately and stored until the patient is ready to use them. The eggs are then thawed and each is injected with a single sperm to achieve fertilization. The resulting embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus for implantation.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.