Egg Freezing Myths vs. Facts: Dispelling Common Misconceptions
Posted on December 28th, 2023
The world of assisted reproduction technology has expanded family-building possibilities for many individuals, giving them unprecedented control over their reproductive journeys. One of the most revolutionary options available today is egg freezing, a fertility preservation technique that involves ovarian stimulation, retrieving multiple mature eggs from the ovaries, freezing them, and storing them for future fertilization. Egg freezing offers women and those with ovaries the chance to expand their reproductive options beyond the confines of the traditional biological clock while focusing on education, careers, health, or other personal matters.
Dr. Sabouni, Director of Fertility and Ooycte Preservation at Aspire HFI commented, “Due to career pursuits or for personal reasons, more and more women are delaying motherhood. Egg freezing is a way to stop time when life plans and biology are not in alignment.
However, despite its growing popularity and accessibility, egg freezing is often accompanied by a cloud of myths and misconceptions. In this post, we’ll explore some common myths about egg freezing and shed light on how it offers control and flexibility in pursuing a balanced and fulfilling life.
Myth #1: Egg freezing is a complex process.
Facts: Egg freezing is a relatively straightforward process with only a few steps:
Ovarian Stimulation: A procedure involving hormonal medications that increases the number of available eggs for retrieval.
Monitoring: The process of assessing the growth and maturity of eggs.
Egg Retrieval: A brief, minimally invasive procedure performed under anesthesia to procure mature eggs.
Cryopreservation: After being tested for quality, the eggs are frozen via vitrification, which involves cryoprotectants and rapid cooling to preserve the eggs’ structure.
Facts: Egg freezing is a generally safe procedure, however, the process can involve some side effects and risks, particularly from the medications used in ovarian stimulation. For most people, the side effects are fairly mild or similar to what they experience during their menstrual cycle (e.g., bloating, discomfort, etc.). In rare instances, severe complications like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can occur; however, close monitoring by healthcare professionals ensures safety throughout the procedure.
Myth #3: Egg freezing can harm natural fertility.
Facts: Concerns about egg freezing often revolve around the misconception that it reduces the natural supply of viable eggs. However, this is a misunderstanding. While individuals are born with a limited egg supply, many are naturally lost over time. Ovaries contain follicles where eggs develop, and during ovulation, only one egg matures, while the others dissolve. Ovarian stimulation, a key part of egg freezing, enables multiple eggs to mature simultaneously. This process doesn't deplete the natural egg reserve; instead, it preserves additional eggs for freezing, leaving natural fertility unaffected.
Myth #4: Frozen eggs aren’t as good as fresh eggs.
Facts: Using frozen eggs is generally considered to be a reliable and effective alternative to using fresh eggs in assisted reproductive techniques. Technological advancements in cryopreservation have enhanced the viability of frozen eggs, ensuring they retain their quality and integrity upon thawing. Today, frozen and fresh eggs have comparable success rates in terms of fertilization, embryo development, and pregnancy outcomes.
Myth #5: Egg freezing guarantees you’ll be able to have a successful pregnancy later in life.
Facts: Fertility, conception, pregnancy, and birth are all exceptionally complex processes. While egg freezing can markedly improve your chances of conceiving later in life, it is not a guarantee. Many factors are at play when it comes to having a successful conception and pregnancy, with eggs being only one aspect.
Learn More about Fertility Preservation
It's crucial for individuals considering egg freezing to consult with a reputable fertility clinic, such as Aspire Houston Fertility Institution, to receive sound, up-to-date information based on the person’s situation, including their overall health, any fertility problems, age, and family planning goals. Contact us today for the information you need to make an informed decision about fertility preservation.