Food for thought:

We’ve put together a summary of the potential risks and downsides of egg freezing. It’s important to us that you make your decision considering all potential issues before you freeze your eggs with Ovally or elsewhere, and that you’re comfortable with the risks and your doctor’s ability to mitigate them prior to treatment. Here’s some food for thought to make an informed decision together with your doctor:

1. Medical risks:

  • The main risk associated with egg freezing is overstimulation of the ovaries from follicle-stimulating hormones; 5% of IVF and egg freezing patients experience symptoms including fatigue, abdominal pain, and nausea; 0.1-2% of cases have developed blood clots, pain, and vomiting leading to hospitalization; starting the stimulation with a lower level of hormones and monitoring follicle growth and hormone levels at regular appointments should mitigate the risk
  • Undergoing IVF to get pregnant after freezing your eggs also comes with some IVF risks, including multiple pregnancies, high blood pressure, premature delivery, and low birth weight (though if you already have to undergo IVF, anyway, it’s better to do so with younger eggs)

2. Lack of guarantee:

  • The expected success rate of a frozen-thawed egg leading to a live birth is 5-10%, as eggs can be compromised at every step of the process (e.g., might not survive thawing or might not become a viable embryo once fertilized); the more high-quality eggs you’re able to freeze, the better your odds, but there’s no complete guarantee that freezing your eggs will results in a baby
  • Given these statistics, some women who harvest a smaller number of eggs during their freezing cycle experience regret

3. Discomfort / pain:

  • Some women experience side effects such as spotting or mood changes when taking the pill (which you may take to predict the beginning of the treatment cycle) or fatigue or mild nausea when taking follicle-stimulating hormones
  • Bloating from increased follicle size can be a bit uncomfortable
  • Most women experience some pain following the retrieval procedure for one or several days

4. Cost:

5. Equipment malfunction:

  • There’s always a small chance of human error and equipment malfunction (e.g., if a clinic’s freezer breaks)

6. Potential ethical concerns:

  • Some people have ethical concerns around freezing eggs (or embryos)

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Food for thought:

  1. […] While egg freezing is a medical procedure that shouldn’t be taken lightly, the risks are very low, especially if your doctor knows how to mitigate them: For instance, <2% of women suffer from complications of hyperstimulation, which are associated with very elevated hormone levels. Constant monitoring, tests, and checkup appointments decrease this risk. We’ve written more about potential risks of egg freezing here. […]

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