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Below, we’ve compiled resources to help you navigate your egg freezing journey. If you move forward with our programs, you’ll meet with a fertility doctor who can help you understand and assess your own situation.
Nope! Research suggests that egg freezing will not decrease your chances of a natural pregnancy in the future and that it won’t take eggs away from the rest of your ovarian reserve.
The egg freezing process captures and preserves eggs that would otherwise die off during each menstrual cycle. Hormone medications can help multiple eggs grow — to be frozen for the future — vs. the usual one egg per cycle.
Egg freezing and egg donation are the same medical procedure. While no medical procedure is 100% risk-free, overall, this one is believed to be a fairly low-risk procedure.
Some women can experience side effects related to the use of fertility medications. Research suggests that in 1-5% of cases, women may experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which happens when the fertility drugs cause your ovaries to become swollen and painful soon after egg retrieval. The most reported symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and in most women, OHSS resolves within two weeks. There are also rare instances of complications with the procedure itself; for example, bleeding or infection.
Yes! Unlike other forms of birth control, IUDs do not prevent ovulation and therefore will not get in the way of stimulating egg production during your freezing cycle. If you have an IUD, there’s no need to remove it before your cycle.
If you don’t have a partner or are not sure whether your current partner is the person you want to build a family with, freezing eggs keeps your options on the table. With Freeze by Co’s Split Program, you can independently preserve your fertility without spending a dollar for the next 10 years.
If you have a partner and are confident that this is the person with whom you want to build a family, you may consider freezing embryos instead of eggs. Freezing embryos will allow you to know how many of those eggs were healthy enough to fertilize at the time of freezing. If, for example, your eggs lead to fewer viable embryos than you expected, you’ll have the chance to complete another cycle while your eggs are younger and healthier.
That said, fertilization will add expenses to the process. Our Split program covers costs up until the retrieval, but you’ll have to pay an additional amount out of pocket to actually create and freeze the embryos. You will have the chance to discuss this with the doctor, and get specific clinic costs for fertilizing the eggs at time of the procedure.
Read more in Should I Freeze Eggs or Embryos?
If you’re thinking that this is a lot to go through alone, you're absolutely right. That’s why we've prioritized community throughout this process. Not only is our team here for you every step of the way, but our online community connects you with other women starting their egg freezing cycles at the same time for peer support.
Of course we also support our members with all the nitty-gritty details of egg freezing – like finding the best clinic, financing the journey, getting discounts on medications, and more.
We know we're not the only egg freezing option out there. But unlike others in the space, we offer accessible options, real time support, and ways to feel really good about the process. Whether that means our community cheering you on, empowering you with knowledge, or helping a family who can't otherwise conceive, we're here to make egg freezing a positive, "so-glad-I-did-that" experience.
Unfortunately, for most of us, the best time to freeze our eggs is when we can least afford it. If you’re eligible, our Split program enables you to freeze and store your eggs for up to 10 years for free when you donate half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can't otherwise conceive.
With our Keep program, where you keep all the eggs retrieved for your own future use, the cost will vary depending on the clinic you choose to work with. Payment is out of pocket, but we can help lighten the load with lower prices on things like storage and medication, as well as discounted cycle fees in certain markets.
Nope! There is no fee to participate in our programs and be part of our community. This goes for both the Split and Keep programs.
In our Split program, where you donate half the eggs retrieved, all your medical expenses (plus 10 years of storage!) are covered by the family to whom you donate.
If you pursue the Keep program, where you keep all the eggs retrieved, you will be responsible for any medical expenses associated with your egg freezing cycle.
Unless you have fertility benefits through work, most health insurance plans don’t cover egg freezing. Your general health insurance may cover some of your screening and upfront blood work, so we suggest discussing it with the clinic you move forward with if you go through our Keep program.
If you participate in our Split program, where you donate half of the eggs retrieved in your cycle, there are no costs to you associated with your retrieval or storage for up to 10 years.
Preparation & recovery
During the freezing cycle, you'll be required to avoid things like intense exercise, drug use, alcohol, and sex (remember: you might be going off your birth control and you’ll be extra fertile from those hormone injections). Other than those restrictions — which your clinic will tell you more about — you can go about your life as normal! You’ll need to take off work or school on the day of and potentially the day after your egg retrieval, though some women feel good enough to go about their days normally.
The good news: most women can get back to their daily lives immediately following the retrieval procedure. You’ll probably want to wait about a week before returning to intense exercise or sex to let your ovaries heal and reduce any swelling, but your doctor will advise based on your unique situation.
If you join our Split program, where you freeze your eggs for free when you donate half of the eggs retrieved in your cycle, you may need to travel depending on the specifics of your match. However, we will do our best to ensure as much of the process as possible is done at a clinic near you. For example, you may be able to complete your initial consultation and screening at a local clinic and then travel for the retrieval.
If you join our Keep program, where you freeze your eggs and keep them all for your future use, you can complete your cycle and all associated appointments at a clinic near you.
The Split program offers women a chance to both freeze their own eggs and donate half the eggs to a family who cannot conceive otherwise. If you qualify for the program and decide to give 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.
Depending on the number of eggs that you are able to retrieve in the first cycle, you may want to complete a second Split cycle so that you’re donating and keeping a sufficient number of eggs. This is something you can discuss with the doctor.
Nope! For our Split program, in which you donate half of the eggs retrieved in your cycle, all of your office visits, screenings, medication, and travel expenses will be covered by the intended parents. You won’t even need to put down your credit card or front any expenses.
There is one exception to this rule: If you do need to travel for either your screening or retrieval, we expect you may incur some small incidental costs (e.g., meals, taxis). Keep track of those receipts and we’ll get you reimbursed.
Many types of families need egg donors to grow their family, including couples facing infertility, LGBTQ+ couples, cancer survivors, women with age-related fertility decline, and more. We welcome all types of intended parents to use our platform to find their donor match. You’ll learn more about the specific family when presented with a potential match.
Yes! We believe in creating mutual matches. In your application, you’ll have an opportunity to let us know the types of families that you are most interested in helping. When an intended parent is interested in matching with you, one of our Member Advocates will reach out to you with some information about the parents. At that point, you’ll have the opportunity to formally consent to the match.
It varies. Some in our Split program might be matched within a matter of days, while for others it can take much longer. Our goal is for you to match as soon as possible so you can get started on your egg freezing cycles while helping others build families. This is why having a complete and authentic profile is important, so families can get to know you.
If you've applied to the Split program and haven't matched as soon as you'd like, you are welcome to join our Keep program at any time.
As a human-centered platform, our goal is to honor all parties involved. Each relationship is unique and depends on both the desires of the Split member and family, as well as what’s best for any future donor-conceived children. If the eggs you donate lead to a child (and we hope they do!), your relationship with the parents and/or children can take on two forms:
- Disclosed: You exchange contact information and can communicate directly.
- Undisclosed: You do not exchange contact information and only communicate via Cofertility.
The scope and degree of communication (both during and post-match) is what both parties make of it and can be outlined in your legal agreement. Communication can range from sharing an annual holiday card to direct, regular communication between you and the donor-conceived child. We share more about what these relationships look like in practice in our article on disclosure status.
Regardless of the relationship that you have with the family post-birth, we can facilitate a phone or video meeting in which you speak to the intended parents. This can be done with or without sharing names.
Either way, it’s important to remember that many donor-conceived children grow up curious about their genetics and may want to reach out down the line. We want to ensure that you are aware of and open to that possibility before joining the Split program.
It is impossible to guarantee anonymity in egg donation. With widely available genetic testing and more state laws banning anonymous gamete donation, it’s increasingly likely that identity and shared genetics will be discovered.
Given research on the benefits of parents being open with their children about being donor-conceived, we encourage intended parents (through our Family by Co platform) to be open to their children about their conception story. This means that, if the eggs you donate lead to a child (and we hope that they do!), that donor-conceived child may eventually want to reach out with their own questions. We want to be upfront that this could happen, even if you opt for an undisclosed match. This article includes more about our stance on disclosure.
Intended parents are excited about how our model also empowers you to preserve your own fertility. We’re committed to honoring all parties, including any donor-conceived children, with a more thoughtful, transparent experience. We view the match as the beginning of our relationship and want to help intended parents raise happy healthy families. As such, we provide families with indefinite access to educational modules, support groups, and communication tools.
On the day of your retrieval, all mature eggs will be divided evenly between you and the intended parents. So if you retrieved 20 mature eggs, you would receive 10 and the intended parents would receive 10. If there is an odd number of eggs, the “additional” egg will go to the intended parents. In addition, you will receive all non-mature eggs if the clinic you’re working with freezes them (not all do). While immature eggs cannot be fertilized today, we don’t know what kind of technological advancements may happen over the next 10 years and want to keep as many options open as possible.
In most cases, if you are not accepted to the Split program, where you freeze your eggs for free when you donate half of the eggs retrieved in your cycle, you will not be able to re-apply. In instances where the disqualifying factor may be subject to change (e.g., your current BMI), we’ll clearly indicate that to you and let you know what the re-application process looks like. You can also always join our Keep program, in which you can freeze and store 100% of your eggs for your own future use.
After your eggs are retrieved, they are put in a deep freeze (a process called vitrification). Your frozen eggs will be stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in an embryology lab. We work with a reputable long-term storage facility with locations across the U.S. If you prefer to have your eggs stored at a different location, let us know and we’ll talk you through the options.
You can access your frozen eggs at any point. As soon as you’re ready to use your eggs, you’ll need to contact the storage provider (we’ll make sure you have all the info) to have them shipped to a clinic of your choice, where they will then be warmed and fertilized. After fertilization, your fertilized eggs (embryos) can be transferred back to your uterus. Please note, when and if you fertilize your eggs to make embryos, you will be responsible for that expense.