Many fertile women who are unable to carry a child to term may choose to freeze their embryos so they will be ready when they find their surrogate. Because it can be challenging to coordinate an intended mother and surrogate on the same cycle, embryo freezing provides a great deal of convenience. Perhaps one of the best advantages of freezing embryos, is the peace of mind that comes with it. When you choose to freeze your embryos, you know that you’ll have embryos to work with when you’re ready.
In order to retrieve eggs for freezing, the intended mother undergoes a process very similar to in-vitro fertilization; the only difference being that the eggs will be frozen for a period of time after retrieval before they are thawed, fertilized, and ultimately transferred to the surrogate’s uterus as embryos. The egg-freezing cycle takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete and includes:
- 2-4 weeks of self-administered hormone injections and birth control pills to temporarily turn off natural hormones
- 10-14 days of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs
Once the eggs have matured, they are removed by a needle under ultrasound guidance while the intended mother is under sedation. After retrieval, the eggs are immediately frozen until the intended mother has found a surrogate and is ready to attempt pregnancy. Before beginning the process of egg freezing, you’ll be required to under go a few screenings including:
- Ovarian reserve testing. Your physician may want to conduct some blood tests to determine the quantity and quality of your eggs. This can also help predict how your ovaries will respond to fertility medication.
- Mock embryo transfer. Mock embryo transfers are conducted to determine the depth of your uterine cavity and the technique most likely to result in a successful embryo transfer.
- Infectious disease screening. Before beginning an egg-freezing process, it is common for physicians to screen for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Embryo freezing has proven to be an excellent option for intended mothers who are fertile but for a variety of reasons, are unable to carry their child. When an intended mother’s embryos are frozen, she has the luxury and the peace of mind that comes with knowing when she finds her surrogate, she’ll be ready, whether it’s next week or next year. If you are looking for additional resources on embryo freezing or would just like to speak with someone about the process in further detail, contact Surrogate Solutions today!