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Q&A With an Egg Freezing Expert
Written in partnership with HRC Fertility, August 6, 2015
If you’re considering freezing your eggs, you probably have a lot of questions. Here’s your opportunity to get answers from Mickey S. Coffler, M.D., a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility, who has offices in Oceanside and Newport Beach, CA.
Q: What happens during an egg freezing consultation?
Dr. Coffler: We assess the patient from A to Z: medical, surgical and family history. We consider her menstrual history, and whether or not there are factors that can contribute to fertility or infertility.
After we gather all that information we do a physical exam and an ultrasound. We order labs for ovarian reserve and hormonal profile that will give us information about potential problems that the patient may have.
Q: What will I learn from the egg freezing consultation?
A: The information that we gain from the initial consult is not just to encourage the patient that egg freezing is a good idea, it’s also an opportunity to educate the patient on her current fertility as well as her potential future fertility. Once you have the opportunity to interact with the physician, it might bring up issues you didn’t think about or necessarily take into consideration.
If we find that the AMH level is great, it’s reassuring, and it’s a great chance to store a lot of eggs. In this situation the chance to be successful later on is going to be higher if she ever needs the eggs.
If someone presents with indicators of low ovarian reserve: low antral follicle count, higher FSH, lower AMH, we would advise her to consider more than one egg freezing cycle to increase her chance for being successful if she ever needs to use those eggs. At the same time, we’d probably also advise her that she should consider starting a family earlier because the ovarian reserve is diminishing.
Q: Is Egg Freezing Affordable?
A: The cost should not prevent someone who is really concerned about their future fertility from freezing their eggs.
There is the perception that this is a procedure for celebrities or patients with a lot of money. I would encourage patients to inquire about it because the price can range from practice to practice. They’ll see there is affordability that comes with excellent care and service.
Q: What are my chances of getting pregnant with my frozen eggs?
A: We tell patients that the process is not a guarantee but it’s a good back up plan. The younger the patient is the better chance she will have in getting pregnant with her frozen eggs.
Success is age related -- the success rates are almost as good as rates of frozen embryo transfer for women in your age group.
Finally, make sure your fertility clinic’s lab is doing vitrification. Vitrification is a fast freeze and thaw technique that provides the best success for egg freezing.