7 Common Questions When It Comes To Egg Freezing
There are many myths and mistruths out there when it comes to cancer and fertility, so we thought we would take a minute to clear the air a bit. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions that we get in a fertility preservation consult:
1. How much time does it take to freeze eggs before undergoing cancer treatments?
About 2-3 weeks from start to finish.
2. When can I start? Do I have to wait for my menstrual cycle?
Egg freezing can be started at any time during a patient’s cycle. This shortens the time needed to go through the procedure without compromising cancer treatments.
3. Does egg freezing have an effect on my cancer?
No, and in fact, patients who choose to undergo fertility preservation live as long or longer than patients who choose not to.
4. Do fertility drugs stimulate my hormone sensitive cancer?
While the hormones in an egg freezing cycle are able to bind to the hormone receptors of a cancer, specialists in the fields of Oncology and Fertility both agree that the short term stimulation in an egg freezing cycle does not have any long-term effects.
5. Does this hasten the time to menopause?
No. In reality, eggs are made in every woman prior to birth and stay inactive (hibernation) until a small group is awoken to possibly be ovulated each month. Egg freezing is only able to harvest eggs that have awoken from hibernation and were destined for degeneration if not stimulated and retrieved.
6. Is pregnancy after egg freezing safe?
Yes, the risk of birth defects is approximately 3%, which is only slightly increased from the general incidence or risk of 2-3%. The exception is in patients that have been exposed to pelvic radiation as they may be at increased risk for miscarriage, premature birth, or low birth weight.
7. Is it expensive?
The cost of egg freezing can vary quite a bit depending on several factors. Insurance companies are increasingly offering coverage for egg freezing for cancer patients. Furthermore, there are foundations and opportunities for assistance. Fertility specialists can guide you through these processes to make sure everything is clear.