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Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, has become an increasingly popular fertility preservation option for women who want to delay motherhood or preserve their eggs now due to medical reasons. 

Many egg freezers opt to do more than one cycle to increase the number of eggs they can preserve (read more in How Many Eggs Do I Need to Freeze?). One question that often arises is, "How long do I need to wait between egg freezing cycles?" In this guide, we'll delve into the factors that influence the waiting period between cycles and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Understanding the egg freezing process

Before we discuss the recommended waiting period between egg freezing cycles, it's important to understand the process itself. Egg freezing involves stimulating the ovaries with fertility medications to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved and cryopreserved for future use. 

It’s considered a safe procedure, but there are some side effects. The most common being:

  • Mild bruising and soreness at the injection site
  • Bloating, 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)

Every woman has a different experience. I’ve had some patients who feel great after the retrieval and go right back to work. But I do recommend that my patients take a day or two off to recover and pamper themselves before resuming normal activities.  

Recommended waiting period between egg freezing cycles

While back-to-back egg freezing cycles is possible, it may or may not be the best path for you. 

After you complete your egg retrieval, you will get your period about two weeks later. At that time, you can work with your fertility doctor to assess how your body responded to the hormone injections from the previous cycle's treatment. Your fertility doctor will assess the ovaries to ensure they are healed and that there’s a new cohort of antral follicles. It’s important that you feel back to baseline before starting another cycle. 

In some cases, it is recommended to wait at least one full menstrual cycle before starting another egg freezing cycle. This means that if you complete your first cycle in January, you should wait until at least March to begin the next one, assuming you have a normal 28-day cycle. This waiting period allows your body to recover, your hormones to return to baseline levels, and your ovaries to be ready for another round of stimulation.

In other cases, your fertility doctor may advise a longer waiting period, especially if you experienced complications or had a particularly high response to the stimulation medications. You’ll want to get input from your doctor and also listen to your body's signals to determine the most appropriate time to start another cycle.

Other factors to consider:

  1. Age: Age is a significant factor when it comes to fertility preservation. Women in their late 30s or early 40s may have a more limited time frame for egg freezing due to the natural decline in egg quantity and quality. In such cases, your fertility doctor may recommend a shorter waiting period between cycles to maximize the number of eggs retrieved while you still have good ovarian reserve.
  2. Ovarian reserve: Your ovarian reserve, which refers to the number and quality of eggs remaining in your ovaries, can influence the waiting period between cycles. If you have a high ovarian reserve, you may be able to wait longer– even years– between cycles without compromising your chances of success. However, if your ovarian reserve is low, your doctor may suggest a shorter waiting period to retrieve as many eggs as possible while you still can.
  3. Personal circumstances: Your personal circumstances, such as upcoming life events, work commitments, or financial considerations, may also play a role in determining the timing of your egg freezing cycles. 

Preparing for subsequent cycles

During the waiting period between egg freezing cycles, there are several steps you can take to optimize your fertility and prepare for the next round:

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact your fertility. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can all contribute to better egg quality and overall reproductive health.
  2. Track your cycle: Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can help you and your fertility doctor determine the optimal timing for starting your next egg freezing cycle. Make note of the length of your cycles, any unusual symptoms, and the duration of your periods.
  3. Supplement wisely: Certain supplements, such as CoQ10 and vitamin D, have been shown to support fertility. However, you must consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for you.
  4. Communicate with your clinic: Maintain open lines of communication with your fertility clinic throughout the waiting period. Keep them informed of any changes in your health, menstrual cycle, or personal circumstances that may impact your egg freezing journey. They can provide valuable guidance and support every step of the way.

Summing it up

The decision of when to undergo another egg freezing cycle isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. The answer will be a combination of listening to your body and your doctor's expert advice. While it's often recommended to wait one full menstrual cycle between cycles to allow your body to recover and reset, it's not a hard and fast rule. 

Some women bounce back quickly after a cycle, while others need a little more time. Your fertility doctor can help you assess your individual response to the first cycle and tailor a plan that's just right for you. Plus, your personal circumstances, like work deadlines or financial considerations, also play a role. It's all about finding a balance that works for you.

The takeaway?  Trust your gut, listen to your body, and lean on your doctor's expertise.  They'll help you navigate the waiting game and find the perfect timing for your egg freezing journey.

Freeze your eggs 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.