See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
Photo of woman laying talking to medical professional who is on the phone and pointing at a clipboard. They're both smiling

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, has grown in popularity, with a 30% increase in egg-freezing cycles from 2021 to 2022 alone! While egg freezing is generally considered safe and effective, I still get a lot of great questions about it as an OBGYN.

Let's address some of the most common concerns I hear:

Does egg freezing affect future fertility?

Egg freezing does not guarantee future fertility, but it does offer a way to preserve your eggs at their current age and quality. This can be particularly beneficial for those who:

  • Want to delay childbearing due to personal or career reasons.
  • Are facing medical treatments that may affect fertility.
  • Have a family history of early menopause.

But will egg freezing itself negatively impact your future fertility? The short answer is no, egg freezing won’t lower your egg reserve and it won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant naturally when you’re ready to do so.

Read more in Does Donating or Freezing Your Eggs Affect Your Future Fertility?

Does egg freezing increase the risk of cancer?

Current research suggests that egg freezing does not significantly increase the risk of most cancers. Overall, studies have shown that fertility treatments do not increase the risks of invasive ovarian cancer, malignant melanoma, or cancers of the endometrium, cervix, breast, thyroid, or colon.

There is limited evidence suggesting a potential, but small, increase in the risk of borderline ovarian cancer (a type of ovarian cancer with low malignant potential) associated with fertility treatments. However, this risk is minimal in absolute terms.

While the hormones used during the ovarian stimulation phase of egg freezing are similar to those used in IVF, the duration of exposure is typically shorter, further reducing any potential concerns. All that being said, more research is needed. It's important to discuss your individual risk factors and concerns with your doctor.

Are there medical risks associated with egg freezing?

Like any medical procedure, egg freezing carries some risks, primarily related to the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval processes. 

In a single egg freezing cycle, the risk of a serious adverse event is under 2.5%. Severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) accounts for the majority of complications, occurring in 0.1-2% of cycles. The risk of other acute complications, including pelvic infection, intraperitoneal hemorrhage, or ovarian torsion, is small (<0.5%). The risks overall are generally low and can be minimized through careful monitoring and appropriate medical management.

Are there long-term side effects from egg freezing?

Some people do experience minor side effects from the medications and egg retrieval, but they are generally for a short period of time. These side effects can include:

  • Mild bruising and soreness at the injection site
  • Nausea and, occasionally, vomiting
  • Temporary allergic reactions, such as skin reddening and/or itching at the injection site
  • Breast tenderness and increased vaginal discharge
  • Mood swings and fatigue
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

Read more in What are the Side Effects and Risks of Egg Freezing?

Are children born from frozen eggs healthy?

Yes, experts believe that babies conceived through IVF, including those born from frozen eggs, are generally just as healthy as babies conceived naturally. However, most studies have focused on IVF outcomes as a whole, rather than specifically isolating the effects of egg freezing.

One recent study, however, specifically examined the health and development of babies born after egg freezing. The findings were reassuring: there was no increased risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, or babies being too small (or too large) for their gestational age.

Additionally, the study found that children born from frozen eggs met developmental milestones at roughly the same rate as other children, with a 90% achievement rate overall. This percentage even increased as the children grew older, with 100% of six-year-olds meeting all developmental milestones.

While more research is always helpful, this study provides encouraging evidence that egg freezing is safe not just for the mother, but for the future children as well. 

Summing it up

Egg freezing is a rapidly evolving technology that offers people greater control over their reproductive choices. While it's not a guaranteed path to parenthood, it provides a valuable opportunity to preserve fertility for the future. With its growing popularity and increasing success rates, egg freezing is becoming a more mainstream option for people who want to prioritize their careers, relationships, or simply maintain their options.

While concerns about safety are natural, current research indicates that egg freezing is generally safe and does not significantly increase the risk of cancer or negatively impact the health of future children. As with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects, but these can be minimized through careful monitoring and management by a qualified fertility specialist.

If you're considering egg freezing, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We can help answer your specific questions, address any concerns, and help you make an informed decision about whether egg freezing is right for you. Remember, knowledge is power – by understanding the facts and weighing your options, you can take proactive steps to protect your fertility and shape your future on your terms.

Freeze your eggs– for free– with Cofertility

We’d love the opportunity to support you on your egg freezing journey!

  • Through our Split program, qualified freezers can freeze their eggs for free when donating half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can’t otherwise conceive.
  • Through our Keep program — where you keep 100% of eggs retrieved for your own future use — we offer exclusive discounts on expenses, such as frozen egg storage. Keep members also still gain free access to our Freeze by Co Community, a safe space for those engaging in the egg freezing process (or gearing up for it) to connect and lean on each other.

By making egg freezing easier and more accessible, our programs further strengthen the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)’s Committee Opinion that egg freezing can help promote social justice and strengthen gender equality.