See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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The demands of medical school can make it seem like there's never a good time to focus on personal goals like proactive family planning. But if egg freezing is on your mind, understanding the best timing can make the process much smoother. Medical school actually offers some unique advantages. You are better positioned to understand everything involved in the medical procedure.

When it comes to egg freezing, your age is the most important factor influencing future success rates with frozen eggs, so acting while you're younger (under 35) gives you the best possible options. Additionally, certain phases of med school might have slightly more flexibility than the intensity of residency.

So, when should you consider freezing your eggs during medical school? Optimal windows include summer breaks (most time available), fall/spring breaks (if you're a meticulous planner), or potentially elective periods (depending on your choices). Let’s dive in to learn more.

A quick overview of egg freezing

The egg freezing process itself typically takes a few weeks. It begins with ovarian reserve and fertility testing along with a consultation with a fertility doctor where you map out the plan. Once you’re ready to go, you'll take hormonal medications for about 10-12 days to encourage the development of multiple mature eggs. During this time, you'll have regular monitoring appointments to track your progress.  Once the eggs are ready, they'll be retrieved in a short, outpatient procedure under sedation.  After retrieval, your eggs are frozen and stored for future use.

A guide to the ideal timing during medical school

Here's the essential timeline to keep in mind:

2-3 months before your egg freezing cycle:

  • Initial consult: Discuss your goals, the process, and costs with a fertility doctor.
  • Baseline testing: Bloodwork and ultrasound to assess ovarian reserve.
  • Stop birth control: Depending on the type of birth control you are taking, you may need to stop taking it ahead of the egg freezing cycle. 

The egg freezing cycle:

  • Medications and monitoring: Begin ovarian stimulation with daily hormone injections for 10-12 days. This phase requires several monitoring appointments (ultrasounds and blood tests) at your fertility clinic or a local remote monitoring clinic. If you work with Cofertility in our Split program, we can work with you and your program to find the most convenient place for these appointments, including at your hospital.   
  • Egg retrieval: Short, outpatient procedure under sedation where eggs are retrieved and frozen.
  • Recovery: Expect a few days of cramping and/or bloating. Most people can return to light activities soon after.

Expect about 3 to 6 monitoring appointments (which last no more than an hour) and one day for the retrieval.  Ideally, you'll want to align the cycle with a break in your medical school schedule– such as spring break, summer break, or otherwise– to ensure you have the flexibility you need for appointments.

The key is being proactive! Don't wait to start the conversation with a fertility clinic. The earlier you plan, the less stressful it will be. Since medical schools publish their calendar in advance, use one of the week-long breaks as a target for the egg retrieval. You can then work backwards from that date to start the cycle. 

Be your own advocate with your school's administration about needing some flexibility for medical appointments. If you work with Cofertility, we can help you map out the egg freezing schedule and find a cycle start date that works with your schedule. 

If you join our Split program, you will be assigned a Member Advocate who will take the extra steps to understand your busy schedule and help schedule appointments in the most convenient way possible. In some cases this means reaching out to the hospital(s) connected to your medical school program for availability to perform labs and ultrasounds.

Freeze your eggs with Cofertility

Cofertility is a human-first, tech-enabled fertility ecosystem that provides people agency over if, how, and when they have babies — today or someday. We have two programs for egg freezers:

  1. Our Split program offers women a chance to freeze their eggs for free when donating half of the eggs retrieved to a family who cannot otherwise conceive. If you qualify for the program and decide to donate half of your retrieved eggs, every expense associated with the egg freezing procedure —  medications, supplements, travel if necessary, insurance, and 10 years of storage — are completely free of charge. We don’t even need a payment or credit card up front, as the family you match with covers all the expenses.
  2. Our self-pay Keep program allows women to freeze their eggs and keep them all for their future use. Through Keep, we offer our members partnerships and discounts to lighten the financial load of egg freezing, as well as access to our member community.

The benefits of working with Cofertility include:

  • Power of choice: Freeze your eggs more affordably or, if you qualify, freeze for free when you give half to a family who can’t otherwise conceive.
  • Community: Our inclusive online spaces allow you to connect with others going through the process in our private online community.
  • Compassion: We’ll always treat you with care, and our Split program gives you the opportunity to make someone’s family building dreams a reality.
  • Data-driven: We provide you with trustworthy guidance and evidence-based research so you can make informed decisions about your fertility.
  • Free egg freezing: Freeze and store your eggs for 10 years, entirely for free if you qualify for our Split program.

Ready to learn about more affordable (even free!) egg freezing with Cofertility? Fill out this quick quiz to learn about our accessible egg freezing options and see if you qualify for our programs — it only takes one minute.