Egg Preservation and Its Uses
Egg preservation is an option many people chose when they want to store their eggs to use for future family building. It involves a process where the ovaries are stimulated with medications to produce more eggs than usual, which are extracted during a minimally invasive procedure and then frozen and stored in a lab.
For this process, you’ll see a fertility specialist who will guide you through the steps. The first thing you’ll do for egg preservation is have some bloodwork and an ultrasound so the doctor can get a good look at your ovaries.
The Egg Preservation Process
Once you’re ready, you’ll start a series of medications to make your ovaries produce several eggs at once, while preventing those eggs from being released until the right time. When the eggs are mature, your doctor will have you do a ‘trigger shot’ which makes the ovaries release the eggs.
The egg retrieval will happen about 36 hours after the trigger shot. You will be lightly sedated (similar to being asleep) for this 20-minute procedure, where the doctor will use ultrasound to guide a needle through the vagina into the ovaries to remove the eggs.
The eggs will be sent to the lab to be frozen, or, if you prefer, the lab will fertilize the eggs with sperm, and then freeze the embryos. After the egg retrieval, you might feel a bit sore and will want to rest at home for 1-2 days.
Stimulation and egg retrieval takes about 2-4 weeks total. Throughout the process, your fertility clinic will be monitoring your hormone levels and your ovaries to make sure everything is proceeding well. It is not easy to predict how many eggs you’ll get, but your doctor can give you an idea of what to expect at the start of your cycle.
The medications used in ovarian stimulation can have side effects, like bloating, constipation, breast tenderness, fatigue, and mood swings. Since this process can be a bit stressful, it’s best to keep the rest of your life as simple as possible while you do your egg stimulation cycle and get lots of support.
After it’s all behind you, you’ll feel relieved to know that you’ve preserved your option of having a genetic family. Once your eggs are frozen, they can be later used in IVF to help you build your family.
Regardless of how you plan to get pregnant, we would be delighted to be part of your care team. Contact us at Portland Acupuncture Studio to learn how we can help you get pregnant soon.