Talking Egg Freezing

The Infertility Center of St. Louis is a leading edge fertility clinic in St. Louis, Missouri. Sherman Silber, M.D., talked recently about egg freezing and ovary tissue freezing for fertility preservation. 

How long has your clinic been doing egg freezing? 

Since 2003. We were the first in the United States to use vitrification.

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

We are offering to cancer pataients, autoimmune pases, and women who want to freeze just to extend the reproductive lifespan and for what some might call social reasons.

What does your fertility clinic consider the optimal age for egg freezing? 

What are the criteria?  We would prefer 21 to 25, but that never happens. Usually, they wait until they are over 35, which is not ideal.

Once eggs are frozen, where are they stored? 

All eggs and ovarian tissue are stored at our carefully guarded and monitored labe at St. Luke’s Hospital.

How long do you feel eggs can be stored safely? 

Forever.

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

No cut-off age — if healthy and a good extended family, age does not matter.

Has your fertility clinic had live births from frozen eggs? 

Yes, but there have been way more babies born to cancer patients who preserved ovary than eggs.  There are lots of frozen egg babies — and we have many ourselves — but not from cancer patients.

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

Each cycle is $6,000, so for three cycles, it would be $18,000 dollars. For ovarian tissue freezing, it is free for cancer patients and a few thousand dollars for women who want to freeze for social reasons..

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

Metastatic tumor to the ovary or a personality disorder in patients would be a contraindication.

What is the most exciting aspect of ASRM lifting the experimental label?

ASRM was three years late on this. We had written an editorial in Fertility & Sterility about this three years ago. They are also late on ovary freezing. It is incorrect to view ovary freezing for cancer patients as experimental when most, if not all of the babies of cancer patients who had ovary or eggs frozen, have come from ovary freezing.

What should a woman look for in a clinic that does egg freezing? 

Can the fertility clinic also do ovary tissue freezing? Is it a big institution? How can the patient know they will still be around in 20 years? Have they published scientifically on the subject?

Click here if you are interested in egg freezing, and we will will put you in contact with The Infertility Center of St. Louis or a fertility clinic near you!

January 22, 2013
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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