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Dear Sofia Vergara ... So You're Thinking about Freezing Your Eggs

Dear Sofia Vergara,

We hear you're considering egg freezing! That's great. Because of advancements in egg freezing technology, this has become a viable option for women who want to preserve their fertility. We applaud you for bringing more attention to fertility preservation for women who want or need to delay childbearing.

But here's the thing ... You're turning 40 (the new 30). You look fabulous (REALLY fabulous), and we're sure you feel fabulous too. BUT stopping the clock on the outside doesn't keep the the fertility clock from ticking on the inside. Fertility in your 40s is NOT the same as fertility in your 30s. Your egg supply is dwindling, and more of your eggs are likely to have chromosomal abnormalities. So, if you're just thinking about freezing your eggs, you should probably pull that trigger and start the egg freezing process — soon.

The first step? Find a fertility doctor — a reproductive endocrinologist — or fertility clinic specializing in egg freezing. The good news is there is plenty of expertise and advanced technology among Los Angeles fertility doctors. Take a look at our searchable database of fertility doctors in your zip code.

What happens next? Your fertility doctor will do some tests to evaluate the quality and quantity of your eggs to determine if you're a candidate for egg freezing. If all goes well, you'll start your cycle. The doctor will prescribes fertility drugs to stimulate your ovaries to produce more than the usual one egg per cycle. (This is the part with the needles where you're self-administering hormones.) First, you'll take two to four weeks of birth control pills to temporarily suppress natural hormones. This is followed by 10 to 14 days of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs. The maturing eggs will be monitored with ultrasounds and blood tests.

And then? Once the eggs are mature, it's time for the egg retrieval. You will have intravenous sedation while the eggs are removed with a needle placed through the vagina under ultrasound guidance. After the eggs are retrieved, they are immediately frozen and will be waiting for you to decide when you're ready for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

And we wanted to go ahead and give you a few questions to ask when you're talking to fertility docs so you can find the right one for you:

  • What method of egg freezing do you use? Slow freezing or vitrification (a newer fast-freezing method). Why do you choose this method?
  • What is your success rate for live birth after egg freezing? What is your success rate for a woman my age?
  • For a woman my age, how many eggs do you expect to retrieve per egg freezing cycle? How many cycles do you recommend I do?
  • How many eggs should be thawed per pregnancy attempt? How many eggs are usually viable after thawing?
  • When I do IVF, how many embryos do you typically transfer in a woman my age?

And, just remember, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) does say that egg cryopreservation is an experimental procedure, and they don't recommend it as a way to defer reproductive aging.

Good luck with everything Sophia! And remember FertilityAuthority is always here to help if you have any questions.

All our best,

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