Freezing your eggs is a significant decision that can provide you with the opportunity to delay parenthood until you’re ready. It’s normal to have questions if you’ve never gone through the egg freezing process before.
This article outlines the key questions you should ask at each stage of the egg freezing journey. From choosing the right clinic to understanding the process, these questions will help you make informed decisions and feel confident in your choices.
1. Selecting an egg-freezing clinic:
The first step is determining your clinic of choice. Ideally, you want to select a reputable and credible facility and medical team you trust. Consider using the following questions as a guide to help narrow down your decision and make the best choice for you:
– What is the staff’s experience in freezing and thawing eggs?
– Does the staff have thaw rates for frozen eggs, pregnancy rates, and live birth rates from previous patients?
– How does the clinic determine if you’re a suitable candidate for egg freezing?
– What medications are involved in the process?
– What is the average number of eggs retrieved per procedure?
– Will you require more than one cycle of egg freezing to ensure enough frozen eggs?
– How much does it cost for egg freezing, and what does it include?
– Is there a cost-saving if more than one cycle is required?
– Will you have a direct clinic contact for questions you might have during the egg freezing process?
2. About the Clinic:
– How many fertility doctors are there in the clinic? Will I meet with all the doctors in the clinic or just you?
– Will I see you for all of my monitoring procedures?
– How does communication work here? Who can I contact when I have questions, and what is the response time?
– Who else will I meet with regularly?
– What procedures are done here?
– Do you store tissue on-site?
– Does the clinic assist in finding sperm, egg, or embryo donors?
– Does your clinic provide recommendations for fertility-specific acupuncturists or mental health support for interested patients?
– What time am I able to come in for monitoring appointments?
3. First Consultation & Fertility Tests:
– What specific tests do you recommend for me? What specific tests do you recommend for my partner? Is testing performed in the clinic?
– How many office visits can be expected?
– Can you explain fertility to me?
– How does my age affect my fertility? What else can affect my fertility?
– How is my ovarian reserve?
– Is there anything from my history or exam that you think could impact my fertility?
– What is egg freezing?
– What does the general process of freezing eggs look like?
– What are the risks and benefits of egg freezing?
– Will freezing my eggs affect my natural fertility?
– Am I a good candidate for egg freezing? Why or why not?
– What’s an ideal age for freezing my eggs?
– How soon do you think I should start?
– How long can I wait if I’m not ready yet?
– Do you have a recommendation for any other specialist I should see?
– What lifestyle choices can I make to improve my health and fertility?
– What is the most common question you get about egg freezing?
4. Selecting an egg-freezing clinic (after fertility test):
– Based on my test results, what are your recommended treatment options?
– What are the common side effects of the treatment? What are the risks to treatment?
– For a patient like me, how many cycles are typically needed to achieve a successful outcome?
– Are there any lifestyle changes you recommend to improve the chances of conception?
– What are your thoughts about using alternative medicine (acupuncture, meditation, homeopathy) in addition to your treatment?
– Do you have a lab on-site?
– What technology and equipment does your lab use to freeze eggs?
– Where will my eggs be stored after they’re frozen?
– What will happen if/when I want to use my eggs?
– What does the price of an egg freezing cycle here include?
– How many eggs should I freeze?
– How many eggs do you think I’ll be able to freeze in one cycle?
– What are my chances of having a baby with my frozen eggs?
– Will I need to do multiple cycles?
5. Cycle Monitoring and Stimulation:
After you vet clinics, you’ll want to know how the process works. Since this varies from clinic to clinic, the following questions are worth asking so you can plan accordingly and feel confident to get started.
– When does morning monitoring start?
– What injections are involved?
– Who completes your scans? (This varies at clinics and may involve your doctor, the on-call doctor that day, a nurse, or an ultrasound technician.)
– For injections, how many days are necessary?
6. Egg Retrieval:
The egg retrieval process involves removing your eggs and preparing them for freezing. Some questions to ask beforehand include the following:
– Who performs the egg retrieval? (Will it be your doctor or the doctor that day?)
– What happens during the egg retrieval?
– How soon after this process can you resume your regular activities?
– Based on your ovarian reserve and the number of eggs expected to be retrieved, what side effects can you expect?
– How soon after this procedure can you return to work?
7. After Your Egg Retrieval:
Following your egg retrieval, your healthcare team will freeze your eggs via flash-freezing, also known as vitrification or cryopreservation. From there, the clinic will store your eggs for a set amount of time or until you’re ready to use them. Below, you’ll find some helpful questions to ask.
– Is there annual storage? How much does it cost?
– What happens to the frozen eggs during a power outage?
– How are the eggs identified?
– Are the eggs monitored at all times?
– What is the maximum duration that the eggs can be stored?
8. When You’re Ready to Conceive:
When you’re ready to conceive, your doctor will probably recommend trying naturally before using your eggs. If you’re ready to use your eggs, you will begin the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process. In this procedure, one or multiple eggs are thawed and assessed. The eggs that are deemed fit for the fertilization process are then injected with sperm (your partner or pre-arranged sperm donor). The resulting embryo is then transferred to your uterus with the goal that implantation (and, of course, pregnancy) will take place.
– How long should we try to conceive naturally before IVF?
– What tests do I need to do before IVF?
– What are your clinic’s success rates (live births and pregnancy rates)?
– What are my personal chances of success in IVF?
– Is the IVF done in batches?
– Do you have an in-house or visiting embryologist?
– What side effects or considerations should I be prepared for?
– Where do I go if I face any issues outside of business hours?
– What is the cost, and what is included?
Overall, it’s important to take your time to determine the clinic/staff and service that is right for you, especially when and if you decide to use your frozen eggs.
Anna Haotanto is the Founder of Zora Health and a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment. Anna’s personal experiences with egg-freezing, PCOS and the challenges of fertility have fueled her mission to provide high-quality information, financing, and support to help women and couples navigate their fertility journeys with confidence. She is also recognised for her achievements in finance, entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment, and has been featured in various media outlets. You can also follow her on Linkedin or Instagram.
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