Pacific Fertility Center is a California fertility clinic in San Francisco. Isabelle Ryan, M.D., at Pacific Fertility Center recently answered questions on egg freezing.
Who are you offering egg freezing services to? What types of patients?
There are two categories of patients who can benefit from egg freezing:
- Patients who have a recent diagnosis of cancer, and need to undergo either surgery or chemotherapy that would lead to infertility or potential infertility post treatment
- Patients who are <37 years old and know that they want to have a biological family but are not ready to get pregnant
We are quite flexible as to which patients can engage in services for oocyte freezing (fertility preservation).
What does your clinic consider the optimal age for egg freezing?
Optimal age is 30 to 37 years old; women younger than 30 years old may not need to freeze their eggs, since they may chose to start their family while their egg quality is still relatively healthy (<34 years old); women who are older than 38 years old would probably require more than one IVF cycle to have enough eggs frozen to be able to achieve a healthy family — we usually encourage women in that age range to be proactive about deciding when they want to actually get pregnant. For women where they are clearly on a personal or professional path which required delaying childbearing, but who want to reserve the option of a biological child, egg freezing is optimal between 30 and 37 years old.
Once eggs are frozen, where are they stored?
They can be stored in our IVF center (in storage tanks) or can be shipped to a storage facility (either locally or a separate geographical location).
How long do you feel eggs can be stored safely?
We do not know the answer to this, but if we look at the experience with frozen sperm or embryos, the answer is probably indefinitely — time stands still in a “frozen state.”
Is there a cut-off age that you recommend for women to have eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred in a cycle?
We recommend that the eggs be thawed and the embryos created and transferred, when the uterus is still considered to be of adequate health — this would probably be before 45 years old.
What is the price range for freezing eggs, and what does that range cover?
Clinic fees are $8,000-$9,000, and medication fees are $3,000-$4,000 depending on how the many eggs we think the ovaries will have. There is also a storage fee, which gets renewed annually.
What are the reasons a woman would NOT be a good candidate for freezing her eggs?
Women who have “low ovarian reserve” — manifested either as low egg numbers in their ovaries or hormones levels indicating low egg quality.
What is the most exciting aspect of ASRM lifting the experimental label? How do you think this will change the face of fertility treatment?
This now legitimizes all the research that has brought us to a point of efficiencies regarding egg freezing technology; it also shows that while this technology has not been around as long as IVF itself, the worldwide data on babies born via frozen eggs indicates that there are no obvious increase in abnormalities for babies born via this technology. We are reassured that this technology is effective and safe. This opens many doors for women, and provides a means to “stop the biological clock” — freeze young/healthy eggs, which can be used later (if needed).
What should a woman look for in a clinic that does egg freezing?
A clinic that has a proven track record of using best techniques for freezing (vitrification) and has a proven track record of freezing eggs and having created healthy babies (live births) via this technology.
If you are interested in egg freezing, CLICK HERE and we will will put you in contact with Pacific Fertility Center or a fertility clinic near you!
April 4, 2013
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff