One of the most frequently asked questions about egg freezing is, “Will it be successful?”
The science has come a long way and there are many examples of successful outcomes. Dr. Lynn Westphal at Stanford, a pioneer of egg freezing at Stanford over 20 years ago to help cancer patients, explains that two breakthroughs have moved egg freezing from experimental to mainstream, “The development of a new fast-freezing technique called vitrification dramatically increased the number of eggs that survive freezing. Also, the technique called ICSI for injecting sperm directly into eggs has boosted fertilization rates.”
Whether or not it will be successful on an individual basis is almost impossibly to answer without gathering some specific health information. Even then, it will be an answer framed by statistics.
Most clinics will perform a hormone assay (for AMH, E2, and FSH) and also what’s called an “antral follicle count” (AFC). The hormone test helps identify the level of your ovarian reserve (a barometer on how many eggs you have remaining) and how your body will likely respond to the stimulating medication used in an egg freezing protocol. The AFC will identify the number of follicles that can likely produce an egg.
With this information, clinics can estimate how many eggs you might retrieve from a single cycle of egg freezing. This is only an estimate and the actual number can vary significantly.
There are a number of factors that affect the results from your hormone assay and AFC, from genetics (predisposition for pre-menopause, for example) to lifestyle.
Future Family can help you complete both the hormone testing (with our easy-to-order Fertility Age Test) and the AFC, which we schedule for you with one of our partner clinics.
There are general statistics available regarding success rates with egg freezing, where success is defined as the birth of your child. These statistics are so broad that it is hard to interpret them without the information outlined above.
As we age, there is more chromosomal damage to our eggs, so we are more likely to have genetically abnormal eggs. That’s where the age factor comes into play. It increase your chances of success to freeze eggs when you’re younger.
Since we can’t yet genetically test eggs (only embryos), age is the best predictor of quality and genetic normalcy. Freezing 20 eggs under the age of 35 equates to approximately a 90% chance of a successful birth in a recently published calculator.