What to Expect: Egg Preservation
Following is a brief overview of the egg preservation process. After reviewing your history, your current hormonal status evaluation and your goals, Dr. Miller will create a unique treatment regimen specifically for you. This process must be altered for your individual needs.*
During the complimentary consultation, you and a Fertility Preservation Coordinator (FPC) will have an in-depth discussion about your medical history, your fertility concerns and the egg freezing process. The FPC will ultimately review this with Dr. Miller, who will choose, if necessary, to meet with you to discuss your history in further detail. Your conversation will include risks and benefits, cost options, an overview of your personal timeline and next steps. If you have a partner and wish to freeze embryos (the end product of the sperm fertilizing the egg), you will be provided with a detailed plan of action to follow.
Prior to treatment, Dr. Miller will have you complete testing. This is essential as it will not only establish your opportunity for success, but it will also determine your treatment plan. Again, based on these results, Dr. Miller may wish to have a separate consultation with you to discuss findings and potential options. Infectious disease testing will also be performed, which is necessary to store eggs in a public facility. Based on your medical history, other testing may be recommended.
3) Medications and monitoring
Once you have been approved as a candidate and you are ready to move forward, your treatment will be scheduled based on the onset of your menstrual cycle, whether natural or induced. On day three (3) of the treatment cycle, you will begin in-office monitoring, which will consist of testing the blood level of the female hormone estrogen and a pelvic ultrasound to determine your baseline follicle numbers (the cystic structures in the ovaries that contain the eggs). On the evening of day three (3), you will begin medications prescribed to stimulate the ovaries to develop multiple mature eggs. These medications are delivered via subcutaneous injections, much the way a diabetic would inject insulin directly below the skin. Once the medications begin, you can expect to visit the office every 2-3 days. At each appointment, your blood levels will be measured and an ultrasound of your ovaries will take place to determine the growth of the follicles (eggs), which correlates to egg maturation. After every appointment, after conferring with Dr. Miller, his staff will leave you a voicemail message (on a secured voicemail system) to explain any changes in medications. The egg maturation process can take anytime between 10-12 days based on the response to the medication and the follicular growth. Throughout the process, should you need help with medications/directions, the office can assist you. Once the ultrasound indicates that the follicles have reached maturity, you will be prescribed another medication to finalize the maturation process. Egg retrieval will be scheduled 35 hours later.
4) Egg retrieval, evaluation and storage
During the egg retrieval process, a small needle is placed through the vaginal wall into the ovarian follicles, under ultrasound guidance. You must be accompanied by someone for the egg retrieval, as you will receive light anesthesia.
The contents of each follicle will be evaluated under a microscope by an embryologist who will examine the maturation and quality of each egg. The embryologist will share information on the number of eggs retrieved as well as the number of those eggs that are mature and good quality. Adequate eggs will then be cryopreserved in subzero temperatures.
Immediately after they are frozen, your eggs will be placed into one of our liquid nitrogen storage containers for safe-keeping. At the Advanced Fertility Preservation Institute, we provide storage for our patients to give them peace of mind during this process. Our state-of-the-art facility is licensed for preservation by the State of Illinois and has all of the proper technology in place to assure the safe, long-term preservation of your eggs.
If you and your partner plan on freezing embryos, your partner will be asked to provide a sperm sample (see What to Expect: Sperm Preservation) during your procedure. The sperm will then be used to fertilize the extracted, matured follicles. Embryos will also undergo the same analysis and will be stored in the facility. In our facility, we have had success using embryos preserved for nearly 15 years.
Once you are ready to move forward with pregnancy, please call Dr. Miller’s office at (630) 428-2229 and the staff can walk you through this next part of the journey.
* If there are concerns regarding history, questions that arise during the lab evaluation, or if a patient wishes, she can consult directly with Dr. Miller. Please note, additional fees will apply.
120 Osler Drive, Suite 100
Naperville, IL 60540
1900 E. Golf Rd., Suite L125
Schaumburg, IL 60173