Egg Banking: Preserving Fertility through Egg Freezing at Houston Fertility Institute
Also known as oocyte cryopreservation an egg banking, egg freezing involves extracting and then freezing a woman’s eggs so that they can be stored for in vitro fertilization at a later time. Once the woman is ready to become pregnant, these cryopreserved eggs can be thawed, fertilized outside of the body through ICSI, and transferred into the womb as embryos. Because the outer shell of the eggs (zona pellucida) hardens during the freezing process, ICSI is required after the eggs have been thawed out.
At the Houston Fertility Institute, we use vitrification for fertility preservation. This modern technique allows us to flash freeze the eggs, which produces a glass-like cell that substantially reduces the stress of freezing on the eggs.
The Egg Banking Process
After an initial consult with one of our fertility specialists, the egg freezing process involves minimal testing including a pelvic ultrasound and bloodwork to assess the number of eggs in the ovary. Patients then take injectable fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries.
Similar to a traditional IVF cycle, the goal is to safely grow as many eggs as possible, from both ovaries. Growth of the ovarian follicles is closely monitored for about 10-12 days until they become mature, at which point the patient undergoes an egg retrieval. The mature eggs are then frozen and remain viable indefinitely. If and when the patient desires to use them for IVF, some or all are thawed and fertilized with sperm to create embryos, which are then transferred, typically one or two at a time, back into the uterus. Read about frozen embryo transfer and the egg freezing program at Houston Fertility Institute.
Inquire about Egg Freezing at Houston Fertility Institute
If you are interested in learning more about egg freezing and would like to schedule an appointment at one of our many offices located throughout the greater Houston area, contact us using the form provided or call the office nearest you.