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Options to preserve your chances for pregnancy
Egg freezing gives you the option of getting pregnant at a future point in time. At UW Health, we harvest and store your unfertilized eggs until you want to begin trying to get pregnant. Oocyte cryopreservation provides women with cancer or other medical conditions a way to protect their ability to get pregnant later in life.
What is egg freezing?
Your doctor harvests your eggs and quickly freezes them. The doctor places the eggs in a cryoprotectant solution that protects cells from damage during freezing. The cryoprotectant replaces the water in the cells so that ice crystals do not form.
Vitrification instantly freezes the eggs and the cryoprotectant into a glass-like state. The eggs are suspended in time and do not age.
Who is it for?
Women with a high risk of losing their future fertility can benefit the most from egg freezing. Certain conditions and medical treatments can impact your fertility, such as:
A family history of premature menopause
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy
Medical treatments or surgery that damage or destroy ovarian tissue and eggs
You also may be a candidate for oocyte cryopreservation, depending on other factors related to your health status.
Choosing to freeze your eggs
At UW Health, we most often use egg freezing for women with medical conditions that affect their fertility. In some cases, we provide oocyte cryopreservation for healthy women who want to get pregnant later in life. If you want to freeze your eggs, you must complete a thorough discussion with your fertility care team about the procedure and the risks involved.
What to expect from the egg freezing process
Some of the early steps involved in oocyte preservation are similar to in vitro fertilization.
Here’s what happens:
You take hormones to help your body produce eggs.
Your doctor harvests the eggs.
The eggs go into a cryoprotect solution.
The eggs and cryoprotectant are flash frozen using vitrification.
The frozen eggs go into cold storage until you want to use them.
Frozen eggs are thawed and can be combined with sperm to create embryos.
Egg freezing lets women save “young” eggs for a potential pregnancy later in life.
Meet our team
Preserving your fertility with care
The fertility team at UW Health’s Generations Fertility Care includes experts in embryology, female and male fertility and reproduction.
Oocyte cryopreservation locations
We provide oocyte cryopreservation treatments at Generations Fertility Care in Middleton.