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In recent years, freezing eggs has become an increasingly popular option for those who want to delay having children and keep their options open. Whether it's to focus on their career, to wait for the right partner, or for medical reasons, egg freezing can give you more control over their reproductive futures. But what happens when the time comes to use those frozen eggs? In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about having a baby with your frozen eggs, if and when you're ready.

Using your frozen eggs down the line

Before we dive into using frozen eggs, let's first review how egg freezing works. The process, called oocyte cryopreservation, involves harvesting your eggs and freezing them for later use. This is typically done through a process called controlled ovarian hyperstimulation, which involves taking medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are then harvested through a minor surgical procedure and frozen using a process called vitrification.

As part of our Split program, where you can freeze your eggs for free when you donate half of the eggs retrieved to another family that can’t conceive, our members get 10 years of frozen egg storage included for free. When the time comes to use those frozen eggs to have a baby, the process is called in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF involves thawing your frozen eggs, fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory, growing the embryos, and then transferring the resulting embryos to the uterus. 

Here are the steps involved in using frozen eggs to have a baby:

  • Thawing the eggs: The frozen eggs are carefully thawed in a laboratory to ensure their survival.
  • Fertilization: Once the eggs are thawed, they are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. This can be done using either conventional IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
  • Embryo culture: The fertilized eggs, or embryos, are then cultured in a laboratory for several days to allow them to develop.
  • Embryo transfer: Once the embryos have developed, one or more are transferred to the uterus using a thin catheter. Any remaining embryos can be frozen for later use.

Choosing a fertility clinic

You do not have to use the same clinic you used to freeze your eggs to then fertilize those eggs and transfer the embryos. Some people choose to switch clinics because they moved or because they found a doctor they like better elsewhere. If you’re looking for a new clinic, you will want to review the clinic's success rates. The success rates can be found through the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) website. Be sure to compare the success rates of the clinic to national averages. You can also look up the clinic’s reviews online, or ask friends for suggestions.

One thing to keep in mind when switching clinics is that different clinics may have different protocols and procedures for thawing and using frozen eggs. This is usually not a problem, but it will be important for your new clinic to know how your eggs were frozen.

Ultimately, the decision to use the same clinic or transport your eggs to another clinic is a personal one that should be made based on your individual needs and preferences.

Getting your eggs out of storage

If you’re staying at the same clinic, many clinics choose to store eggs in a long-term storage facility versus at the clinic itself. If that’s the case, the clinic is usually responsible for transporting the eggs back to the clinic and laboratory to create embryos. 

If you’re moving clinics, you’ll likely need to coordinate getting your eggs out of long-term storage. Transporting frozen eggs is relatively straightforward and there are several carrier options you can use to safely get your eggs out of storage. If you worked with Cofertility to freeze your eggs, we can help put you in touch with the storage facility to coordinate moving the eggs to a clinic of your choice.  

So how much will it cost for me to unfreeze my eggs?

The cost of using frozen eggs to have a baby can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the fertility clinic, the number of cycles needed to achieve a successful pregnancy, and whether you have any underlying medical conditions that could affect the process. 

Here are some expenses you can expect when thawing your eggs:

  • Egg thawing and fertilization 
  • Genetic testing (optional)
  • Medication if necessary
  • Embryo transfer

In total, this can range from $3,000-$10,000 totally depending on the clinic and the medication you may require pre-transfer. It’s best to reach out to clinics you are interested in to get real pricing.

Success rates with frozen eggs

The success rates of using frozen eggs to have a baby can vary depending on several factors, including your age at the time the eggs were frozen, the quality of the eggs, and the number of embryos transferred. Generally, the younger you were when freezing your eggs, the higher the chances of success. 

Studies show that for a woman under age 35, nine eggs give you a 70% chance of at least one child. As medicine and technology advances, we hope to see this number increase even further!

Summing it up

Egg freezing provides the flexibility and peace of mind that comes with knowing your eggs are safely stored and available for future use while you live your best life. You may not even need those eggs to get pregnant down the line; but if you do, you’ll be so glad you froze them. 

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.