Talking Egg Freezing with NYU

NYU Fertility Center

NYU Fertility Center is part of the New York University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. As one of the leaders in egg freezing, NYU has achieved high success rates with freezing and thawing. 

NYU's Jamie Grifo, M.D., PhD, answered questions on egg freezing.

How long has NYU Fertility Center been performing egg freezing?

Since 2004, the NYU Fertility Center has frozen over 1,000 women’s eggs. Between 2001 and 2004, the Center conducted research, which resulted in the vitrification method used exclusively at the Center. Today, the Center has achieved one of the highest success rates with egg freezing and thawing worldwide.

The NYU Fertility Center is part of the New York University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This unique relationship allows us to offer quality services to our patients in a private office setting while also benefiting from our association with a major academic medical center. 

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

We offer egg freezing services to any woman in her reproductive years who considers egg freezing a viable option for family planning. This includes women in a medical emergency, such those who are diagnosed with a treatable malignancy, as well as women who require surgical removal of ovaries for a benign or questionable disease process. 

Of the more than 1,000 women who have chosen to freeze their eggs with us; 80 percent were for deferred reproduction and 20 percent for medical indications. The mean age of women who are currently seeking egg freezing at our Center is 38 years of age.

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

We believe all women interested in egg freezing and who are in their reproductive years are eligible for an evaluation and counseling. We have performed egg freezing cycles for women up to the age of 44. 

In terms of deferred reproduction, we believe egg freezing is most ideal between the ages of 30 and 38, and reasonable for women between 39 and 41 in most cases. Over the age of 41, it is less likely to be successful.

Ideally, a woman’s FSH should be less than 10. We like the AMH to be greater than 1, though each patient is considered on a case-by-case basis. 

The NYU Fertility Center has a staff dedicated to the egg freezing program to assure patients are properly cared for, counseled and supported. We know this is a big decision for many women, and we are committed to making sure the process is a comfortable and easy as possible. 

Once eggs are frozen, where are they stored?

All eggs retrieved and frozen at the NYU Fertility Center are stored and maintained onsite at the clinic, using liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees C.

The liquid nitrogen tanks are routinely checked and monitored and, as seen recently in the dramatic Superstorm Sandy rescue the NYU tanks are not dependent on electricity to protect the eggs.

How long do you feel eggs can be stored safely?

Using liquid nitrogen, eggs can be stored indefinitely at -196 degrees C. At present there is not much concrete data, but we do know that eggs frozen with vitrification have a greater than 90 percent survival rate.

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

We don’t have a cut-off. but very few women request egg freezing over the age of 50.

Has your clinic had live births from frozen eggs? How many?

To date, our patients have delivered 33 live-born children, and we currently have four women enjoying healthy ongoing pregnancies. Our first child from frozen eggs was born on July 4, 2005. The good news is that pregnancy rates for egg freezing are comparable to a fresh cycle of IVF. 

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

The cost is $9,200. This amount does not include anesthesia or medications.

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

Women who have elevated FSH levels or significantly low AMH levels, which are indicative of a diminished ovarian reserve, are unlikely to be successful and therefore not encouraged.

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

It is thrilling to see the medical establishment acknowledge the science available to women, giving them more controls over their body and their fertility options. Already we see the changing face of fertility treatments in the informative blogs and websites, like yours, that are proliferating for women everywhere.

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

For women, cryopreservation is a commitment that will place demands on them in terms of consultations, tests, drugs and time. In choosing a clinic, look for one that offers the widest spectrum of services, including a wellness program. Most importantly, however, is the live birth rate from egg freezing – the best indicator of a clinic’s overall performance.

If you are interested in egg freezing, CLICK HERE and we will will put you in contact with NYU Fertility Center or a fertility clinic near you! 

November 20, 2012
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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