Taking the next step in any fertility journey can be intimidating. We want to make sure you are equipped with all the details you need. We asked our doctors which pre-fertility cycle questions they get asked most. Check out all the answers below.
How long will my egg freezing cycle last?
One cycle of egg freezing takes roughly 14 days from the first injection to the day of the egg retrieval. During those 14 days, you can go to work and continue your normal activities. The only day you need to take off from work or your normal routine is the day of the egg retrieval because the egg retrieval is done under anesthesia. You’ll need to rest following your procedure, and should feel back to normal the following day.
If you are planning to do more than one cycle, we recommend waiting at least 1 month between, but you can wait as long as you want. The decision to do more than one cycle will be based on your age, the number of children you hope to have and the number of eggs that are retrieved from your first cycle.
How often will I have to come to the clinic?
Once your cycle starts, you will come in for several quick monitoring visits 5-7 times over 10-12 days prior to your egg retrieval. The egg retrieval procedure at the end of your cycle lasts about 2-3 hours in the morning, but we do ask you to take the rest of the day off. About 5 days after the retrieval, you will return for your transfer procedure. No anesthesia is used for the transfer, so you can plan your day as you wish around it.
Will the procedures be painful? Are there any side effects?
Certain parts of the process can be uncomfortable depending on how sensitive you are. The stimulation phase, during which you are injecting yourself with hormones, is generally more difficult due to convenience (frequent visits, daily injections) than it is painful. The needles for daily injections are very thin and you inject them into the fatty tissue around your belly. (Don’t worry—we go over exactly how to administer these injections in great detail. You’re never alone during this process!) Sometimes, the hormone medication may cause you to feel bloated and crampy due to your body responding to medication and growing more follicles this month. The vaginal ultrasound exams are not painful, but they can be a bit uncomfortable due to the nature of the procedure.
During the 10-15 minute procedure to retrieve the eggs, you’ll be under anesthesia and won’t feel a thing. You may experience some discomfort when you wake up, like a little soreness in the vaginal area and/or some abdominal cramping, similar to how you might feel when you’re getting your period.
Can I still be on birth control when going through an egg freezing cycle?
Yes, you generally do not need to stop your birth control to do an egg freezing cycle. You can keep your IUD if you have one.
What happens to my eggs or embryos if I don’t use any/all of them?
If you decide you no longer have use for your eggs or embryos, you can donate them to help others conceive, donate them to science, or have them destroyed.
How long can my eggs/embryos be stored?
You can store your eggs or embryos indefinitely. Once frozen, they’ll remain that way until you use them, donate them, or decide to discard them. There is no evidence that the health or viability of frozen eggs or embryos decreases over time.
Will this cycle affect my ability to conceive later on?
No, this will not affect your natural ability to conceive later on. We will only retrieve eggs that grow this month which would otherwise be lost, if not retrieved.
If you have more questions, you can always send us a DM on Instagram and we will get answers for you within 48 hours.
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