USC Fertility

When should I freeze my eggs?

The founders of the USC Fertility Preservation Program reassure women who wonder: When should I freeze my eggs?

A woman in her prime reproductive years may feel confident about her family building timeline. Having a partner who also feels ready to conceive and a body that will cooperate with the plans will help expedite your goal of becoming a mother. Unfortunately, not every woman has an unimpeded path to pregnancy, and some may wonder how long to wait before exploring fertility preservation.

USC Fertility physicians–board certified reproductive endocrinologists–support women who have immediate needs to preserve fertility. They have decided to pursue egg freezing and feel confident in the decision. We also hear from women who want children one day, but aren’t sure if the timing is right … right now.

Our understanding team will lead you through a series of questions to help determine the answer to your question:

When should I freeze my eggs?

The simple answer is to pursue egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, in the prime reproductive years — a woman’s 20s and early 30s — to take advantage of premium egg quality and quantity. Think of the egg retrieval process and cryopreservation as you would a fall harvest. For example, apples are at their peak October through November, and when flash-frozen, they yield the sweetest fruit.

A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have, and over time they diminish in number and cellular integrity. This decline explains why a woman in her 40s has only a 5 percent chance for becoming pregnant each month, and her eggs have an increased chance for aneuploidy after age 45.*

Basic fertility testing, including antral follicle counts, hormone and AMH blood testing, assesses your ovarian reserve. A clearer picture of your egg quantity and ovarian function may lead you to opt in (or out) of elective fertility preservation.

Age is the primary condition to consider as you ask yourself: When should I freeze my eggs?

Life circumstances may also lead you to consider egg freezing. For some women, knowing that they have preserved eggs brings them peace of mind in a season of life incongruous to pregnancy. For example, women with demanding careers or the inflexibility of academic calendars may wish to delay family building.

USC Fertility connects men and women with the very latest family-building possibilities and will help guide you through the decision-making process. The first question we will address—when should I freeze my eggs—will give you a timeline and a plan for moving forward or delaying egg freezing.

The entire process takes approximately two menstrual cycles, so you will want to factor in availability and proximity to USC Fertility during elective egg freezing.

If you know that you would like a baby one day but worry that your biological clock will prevent it, contact us. We will present the facts about fertility preservation—how it works, the limitations and the likelihood of a successful outcome.

ASRM Booklet on Ag and Fertility