Is the egg freezing process painful? Are there any side effects?

1 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Melvin H. Thornton, Associate Professor

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & IVF Director Global Fertility & Genetics
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The egg freezing process is pretty straightforward. It’s not painful. However, it does involve daily injections of hormonal treatment. The hormones that you’re injecting are hormones designed to get multiple eggs to grow at the same time so that we can retrieve them and freeze them. Typically, the number of injections you take on the whole course of the process is about 10 to 12 days of injections and most of these injections are in pen form. There are some medications that your doctor may recommend you have to mix, but most of them are in pen form – it’s pretty straightforward.

The injection goes around the stomach area, around the umbilicus, the egg retrieval itself – here in the US, about 95 of all egg retrievals are done under IV sedation, which is a medication that puts you into a nice little nap while we’re doing the procedure vaginally with an ultrasound. Then once you’re done you wake up with mild cramping and that’s about it. Some women prefer not to have any anesthetic at all and they would prefer to have a local anesthetic. If you want to have local anesthesia, you can but that’s designed for someone that only has 2-3 eggs that you’re trying to retrieve. Someone who has anywhere over 8-10 eggs should definitely consider going IV sedation.

Overall, the process is not very painful, the retrieval itself afterward may have some minor cramping but it is what we call a same-day procedure, you come in in the morning, you have the procedure and go home right afterward. By the next day after the procedure you’re back to normal.

About this question:

Are there any side effects of freezing me eggs?

The process of oocyte freezing (egg cryopreservation) involves hormonal stimulation through injections to produce as many eggs as possible, collecting the eggs from the ovaries, freezing the eggs in the laboratory, and storing them in sub-zero temperatures.

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