Talking Egg Freezing with FSH

George Grunert

Fertility Specialists of Houston (FSH)  is a fertility clinic with six fertility doctors practicing in four locations in and around the Houston, Texas, area. George M. (Mac) Grunert, the medical director of Fertility Specialists of Houston, talked to us recently about egg freezing in Texas.

How long has Fertility Specialists of Houston been performing egg freezing?

For over 12 years – initially for cancer patients and later for fertility preservation.

Who are you offering egg freezing services to? What types of patients?

The majority of our patients are still cancer patients freezing prior to therapy which may affect their future ovarian function. We’re seeing an increasing number of women who want to freeze to preserve eggs for future fertility

What does your clinic consider the optimal age for egg freezing?  Do you have a cut-off age?

There is no age criteria, but we evaluate ovarian reserve, estimated egg number, potential number of mature eggs available to freeze, and give the patient information on the likelihood of pregnancy given this information and her current age. It’s then her decision.

Once eggs are frozen, where are they stored?

Eggs are stored on site in the Fertility Specialists of Houston IVF Laboratory.

How long do you feel eggs can be stored safely?

In liquid nitrogen, eggs can be stored indefinitely. 

Is there a cut-off age that you recommend for women to have eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred in a cycle?

There is no cut-off age, but we recommend pregnancy prior to age 50 to minimize other medical problems in pregnancy.

Has your fertility clinic had live births from frozen eggs?

Yes. 

What is the price range for freezing eggs, and what does that range cover?

The cost for stimulation, egg recovery, freezing, and the first year of storage is $8,500. This does not include preliminary testing and medications. Continued storage is $250 per year.

What are the reasons a woman would NOT be a good candidate for freezing her eggs?

Women with poor ovarian reserve — who would not likely produce multiple eggs, or who, for other reasons, would not likely produce good quality eggs, which, when thawed, would result in a pregnancy, would not be good candidates for egg freezing.

What is the most exciting aspect of ASRM lifting the experimental label? How do you think this will change the face of fertility treatment?

Eventually the change in ASRM classification of egg freezing from experimental to clinical will open up this field to more women who want to preserve their fertility options. The change in position and the improvement in technology will also permit the development of egg banking for donation, similar to the current system of sperm cryopreservation for donation, easing the process of IVF with donor eggs. 
 
What should a woman look for in a clinic that does egg freezing?

As with the selection of an ART program for treatment, women should look for programs with experience, professionalism, and with physicians and staff with whom they have comfort and trust.

Click here if you are interested in egg freezing, and we will will put you in contact with Fertility Specialists of Houston or a fertility clinic near you!

January 15, 2013
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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