What is Egg Freezing?

Egg Freezing: Preserving Your Fertility for the Future

The idea of motherhood is something many cherish, but the timing might not be right. Fortunately, there’s a remarkable solution that can provide peace of mind for women who want to preserve their fertility without compromising their life choices. In this article, we will guide you through the details of egg freezing – a medical marvel that allows us to protect our chances of becoming mothers when the time is right.

Understanding Egg Freezing

Egg freezing, technically known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a cutting-edge medical procedure that enables women to store their unfertilized eggs for future use. This innovative technology comes to our rescue when we’re not yet ready to embrace motherhood but want to safeguard our ability to get pregnant later in life.

The prime age for fertilization typically falls between a woman’s late teenage years and late 20’s. However, in today’s fast-paced world, where career goals and life adventures often take precedence, family planning can take a back seat. This delay can result in increased maternal age when we’re finally ready to conceive, potentially leading to fertility challenges. Egg freezing in this case is a viable option.

Egg freezing isn’t just for married couples. It’s equally accessible and beneficial for single women who want to plan their family and childbearing journey without the pressure of an imminent marriage. During the egg stimulation process, only the highest-quality eggs are selected, eliminating concerns about delayed marriage or financial constraints affecting future childbearing. These eggs can be preserved in their natural state for up to a decade, and when the time is right, they can be thawed and used immediately.

Who is Suitable for Egg Freezing?

  1. Single Women with Future Plans for Children: If you’re single but envision motherhood in your future, egg freezing can be a game-changer.
  2. Married Couples Delaying Parenthood: For those couples not yet ready to start a family, egg freezing provides a safety net for the future.
  3. Fertility Treatment Candidates: Individuals undergoing fertility treatments like IVF (In vitro fertilization) or ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) due to infertility issues can benefit from egg freezing – learn more about our ICSI process.
  4. Egg Stimulation for Future Cycles: Some individuals undergo ovarian stimulation for IVF or ICSI, producing multiple eggs. The surplus eggs can be frozen for convenience in future fertility treatments or childbearing.
  5. Health-Related Conditions: In certain cases, individuals facing chronic conditions requiring radiation or chemotherapy, such as cancer, may need to undergo ovarian surgery. These treatments can diminish egg quality, making it challenging to conceive in the future.

Navigating the Egg Freezing Process

Egg freezing is a carefully structured process that involves multiple stages, ensuring the best possible outcome when you’re ready to use your preserved eggs.

  1. Physical Examination: The journey begins with a thorough medical history and health assessment by your doctor. This evaluation ensures that your body is ready for the process.
  2. Ovarian Stimulation: The next step is ovarian stimulation, where you’ll receive hormone injections to encourage your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The duration of this step may vary but typically lasts for 10-14 days, guided by hormone levels, test results, and your age, all aimed at achieving the highest efficiency.
  3. Egg Retrieval: Here’s where misconceptions often arise. Eggs are not collected through traditional surgical methods. Instead, the procedure is performed through minimally invasive surgery. Anesthesia is administered, and a small needle attached to an ultrasound probe is used to locate and extract the eggs for laboratory examination. Subsequently, a cryoprotectant solution and rapid nitrogen gas cooling are employed to swiftly freeze and preserve the eggs in optimal condition for storage, allowing for preservation for over a decade.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Egg Freezing

While egg freezing offers a host of advantages, such as preserving high-quality eggs for future fertility treatments, there are also potential disadvantages that should be considered.

  1. Cost: The procedure can be relatively expensive, with costs varying by location. In Thailand, it may cost around 120,000 baht per year, in some regions it might be substantially more. It’s essential to factor in this financial aspect.
  2. Implantation: Once the eggs are retrieved, they cannot be re-implanted into the uterus. If you’re ready for conception, external fertility options like IVF or ICSI treatment must be employed. Therefore, egg freezing doesn’t eliminate the need for additional medical procedures when the time comes to conceive.

The Science Behind Egg Freezing: Vitrification

The process most commonly used for egg freezing is called vitrification. When eggs are frozen using this technique, the primary objective is to prevent the formation of ice crystals, which can damage the cells.

The Vitrification Process

Let’s touch a little bit more on the science behind the process of freezing:

  1. Cryoprotectants: Eggs are exposed to high concentrations of chemicals called cryoprotectants to facilitate rapid dehydration of cells.
  2. Liquid Nitrogen Immersion: The eggs are then swiftly loaded into straws and plunged into liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -197°C. This rapid cooling, occurring in just 2-3 seconds, virtually freezes the eggs instantly

Benefits of Vitrification

The high cooling rate, combined with the use of high cryoprotectant concentrations, leads to a glass-like substance instead of ice formation within the straws. This unique process protects the embryos from damage and allows them to be warmed later with survival rates consistently exceeding 90%. It’s a testament to the remarkable advances in medical science that enable women to preserve their fertility with such high success rates.

The Future of Your Frozen Eggs

When the time comes to use your cryopreserved eggs for pregnancy, they are carefully thawed and assessed. Surviving eggs are typically fertilized with ICSI. The fertilized eggs are nurtured in a controlled environment until they’re ready to be transferred into your uterus, initiating the journey to motherhood.

Egg freezing is an empowering option for modern women who want to preserve their fertility without compromising their present life choices. It’s a remarkable technology that offers peace of mind, knowing that our dreams of motherhood can be realized when the time is right. The process may have its downsides, but the advantages far outweigh them. 

So, whether you’re a single woman with future plans for children or a couple postponing parenthood, contact our Fertility clinic in Bangkok if you are considering egg freezing as a means to secure your path to motherhood, all on your terms.



Dr. Thitikorn Wanichkul, M.D.

Expertise: Obstetrics-Gynecology, Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery, Infertility Treatment

Dr. Thitikorn Wanichkul, M.D.

Expertise: Obstetrics-Gynecology, Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery, Infertility Treatment