Egg Freezing: What you should know about the process, the risks, and the cost

The condition occurs in about one percent of women who undergo egg freezing and is more common in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, since PCOS can increase the risk of developing too many follicles, which in turn can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, said dr said Christiansson.

Women who freeze their eggs in their younger years, in their early 20s, are also at greater risk, said Dr. Christianson because larger egg stores are a risk factor for overstimulation. The more eggs a woman has, the greater the likelihood that the medication she takes prior to egg retrieval will stimulate a large number of ovarian follicles.

Doctors can carefully monitor patients and reduce the risks of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, but anyone considering egg freezing should be counseled about the dangers of the condition, said Dr. said Christiansson.

Costs vary between fertility centers, but in general, a single cycle of egg freezing, including ultrasound monitoring and doctor monitoring, can cost around $4,500 to $8,000, said Dr. said Christiansson. Patients usually complete one or two cycles, she added. Insurance coverage may vary depending on the type of plan a patient has.

The injectable drug separately costs between $4,000 and $6,000 per cycle, depending on how much drug the patient needs.

Storing eggs comes with an additional cost — they can reach over $500 each year.

Egg freezing is no longer an experimental treatment, but it’s not a panacea for fertility either. A study of more than 500 women published this summer found that the overall chance of a live birth from frozen eggs was 39 percent. The results also suggest that age and egg count contributed to success rates: if a woman was younger than 38 or thawed more than 20 eggs, her chances increased significantly. Guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that there is not enough research to support egg freezing just to delay child birth.

However, some experts said anyone at risk of age-related infertility could be a candidate. Other people who might seek the procedure include those undergoing chemotherapy that could affect the ovaries, or people who identify as transgender or non-binary and are considering sex-affirming hormones, said Dr. said Adeleye.

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