Frozen Embryos vs. Frozen Oocytes

The decision to have children is not one that is taken lightly.  Women are, in increasing numbers, making the conscious decision to wait to start their families.  Rather than having children while they are young, these women wish to reach personal or career goals before becoming a mother.  Biologically, a woman is best equipped to become pregnant before age 35.  Therefore, women who wish to delay motherhood should consider fertility preservation.

There are two ways a woman can preserve her fertility – either by using frozen embryos or frozen oocytes.  Each method has advantages.  Understanding the difference between the two can help you to make the fertility preservation decision that is right for your future family.shutterstock_108006539_small

Frozen Embryos

Embryo freezing is one method of fertility preservation.  In order to freeze embryos, a woman is given fertility medication.  This medication has the purpose of producing multiple eggs at once.  Through continual monitoring, the fertility team is able to identify when ovulation is going to occur.  Immediately before ovulation, the eggs are harvested.  The eggs are reviewed for quality and are then fertilized using either your partner’s or donor sperm.

This preservation method has some distinct advantages.  Embryos may be tested for the presence of genetic defects, so women are aware of the true health of the stored embryos.  There is also something to consider.  For women who are not in a committed relationship, or who are not sure they will use donor sperm, freezing embryos may not be the best option.

Frozen Oocytes

Frozen oocytes, or eggs, are harvested in a way that is very similar to the process for frozen embryos.  However, the eggs are not fertilized.  Instead, after being reviewed, the eggs are frozen until a woman is ready for them.  While the eggs cannot be genetically tested, having unfertilized eggs provides women with a number of options once she is ready to use her eggs.  With frozen oocytes, a woman is able to determine the fertilization method at the time that they will be thawed and used.

Speak with a member of the New Hope Fertility Center team for additional information on your fertility preservation options.  Please click the link below to enter your information and New Hope will contact you, or simply call 212-517-7676.  Thank you.

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