See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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If you think you probably want kids someday—just maybe not, like, today—you might be considering freezing your eggs. Women who choose to do it can find it really empowering, but it can also be a huge personal and financial investment. We’ve gathered the basic info you’ll need to decide whether egg freezing is right for you. 

What’s the process like?

The whole point of egg freezing is to trick your ovaries into sending a whole crop of eggs out into the world in one go. This starts with nearly two weeks of intense, at-home prep work on your part. Here’s how it all plays out:

Shots/Sonograms/More Shots

Starting on day 2-3 of your period, you’ll give yourself daily injections of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH). In a natural cycle, your brain makes smaller doses of these hormones on its own to signal to the ovaries that it’s time to make a single egg ready for ovulation. With this treatment, the brain’s natural process is overridden by the injections in order to encourage the ovaries to release as many eggs as possible.

But not so fast, ovaries! You’ll also be given a third drug in combination with these that will keep your eggs from releasing before the doctor is ready to catch them. Depending on which one you’re prescribed, you’ll start taking this at the same time as the stimulants, or about halfway through the stimulant cycle. Don’t worry, you’ll receive specific instructions on all of these and before you know it, you’ll be an expert at giving yourself a shot. Look at you go!

You’ll take these daily injections for 10-12 days, during which time you’ll also be carefully monitored by the clinic with trans-vaginal ultrasounds that examine your follicles (the ovarian sacs that release the eggs), and blood tests to track your hormone levels. Your medications will be adjusted based on the info from these tests.

When follicles are nice and plump, you do a trigger shot and then go into the center for your egg retrieval. This actually triggers ovulation and it’s what’s needed for the DNA to become mature, but your eggs will be retrieved right before they’re released from the follicles.


An egg retrieval is a minor surgical procedure. Most centers use twilight anesthesia, so you’ll be under sedation through an IV, but breathing on your own. The doctor performing the egg retrieval will insert a trans-vaginal sonogram. Now, here’s the kinda weird part: on the tip of that sonogram wand is a small needle, which pierces the vaginal wall, and then enters the ovary on the other side (the doctor is watching all of this happen on the sonogram screen). The needle drains the fluid (containing the microscopic egg) from each of the mature follicles. The entire thing takes about 20 minutes, and you can go home soon after. 

In the lab, each egg is isolated from the fluid by an embryologist, then stripped of its surrounding cells, and checked under a microscope for maturity. Mature eggs are frozen, post-mature eggs are discarded, and immature eggs may be observed overnight, to see if they are ready to be frozen the next day. 


Depending on how many eggs are retrieved, getting over the procedure might be no big deal, or you could have post-retrieval symptoms. Some women experience bloating, cramping, nausea, and potentially some weight gain for a few days after the procedure. Time to stock up on coconut water and get cozy with some Netflix. 

How many eggs will I get?

“People always ask, ‘why can’t you just give every woman enough drugs so that everyone makes 20 eggs?’ But that’s not how it works. Our ovaries have a set number of follicles every menstrual cycle,” explains Dr. Talebian. And of course, each woman is different, so the expectation for egg retrieval has to be set on an individual basis. 

“You can have a 30-year-old who has 30 follicles and produces 30 eggs; and you can have a 30-year-old with 4 follicles and produces 4 eggs.” Once you begin the process, your doctor will monitor your follicle count as well as a blood test of your anti-Müllarian hormone (AMH), which are both good predictors of how many eggs you can expect. It’s super personal and varies case-by-case.

Once your eggs are frozen, the next important number to seek when interviewing a clinic is their thaw rate. This number indicates the percentage of frozen eggs actually survive the warming process in order to be used for IVF. Beyond that, there isn’t really enough data to provide success rates for pregnancy using a woman’s own frozen eggs (versus frozen embryos, for example.

“Anyone who says they can give success rates based on egg freezing is probably not giving an accurate answer,” says Dr. Talebian. “We can give you success rates for healthy donor eggs, but most women who come in to freeze eggs at ages 30-35 have not come back to use those eggs. So there isn’t enough data to give a success rate.”

At what age should I freeze my eggs? 

As we’ve said before, everyone is different, but Dr. Talebian provided some basic guidelines.

  • If you have no fertility risk factors: between ages 30-34
  • If you have some fertility red flags: consider testing at an earlier age, if, for example, if you have a history of endometriosis, family history of early menopause, or any history of radiation or chemotherapy exposure

“Unfortunately, there’s no magic blood test or ultrasound or MRI that says ‘oh you could wait until you’re 38, or you need to do it at 28,’” says Dr. Talebian. What the centers do have are the stats for the average women at each age and then your personal history and the follicle counts they can take when you come in for your first appointment. Based on all this information, you can have a straightforward convo with the doctor about your likelihood of success, so you can make the best call for your future. 

Read more: A Breakdown of Egg Freezing Success Rates by Age

How much will it cost?

It can totally vary, depending on where you live and from center to center. We can help with this. In our Freeze by Co program, we get special pricing from clinics and on medications. Plus, you get access to an amazing community of women freezing at the same time.

We also offer free egg freezing through our Split program, where you freeze your eggs for free when you donate half to a family that can’t otherwise conceive.

Want to learn more? Take our quiz to see if you’re eligible.