Women who hear the proverbial biological clock running and are not yet ready for parenthood are increasingly considering egg freezing at IVF New Jersey Fertility Center.

Egg freezing is different from embryo freezing, which uses fertilized eggs left over from other treatments. Egg freezing uses unfertilized eggs only.

“Women who don’t have a partner or are concerned about fertility turn to egg freezing,” said Michael C. Darder, M.D., co-founder of IVF New Jersey. “Sometimes, it’s a back-up in case they don’t meet ‘Mr. Right.’ Or a way to have younger eggs in reserve in case they decide to delay pregnancy.”

Younger eggs are key. A woman’s greatest chance of getting pregnant occurs when she is in her 20s. After 30, there’s a steady decline, and a significant drop-off in fertility after 40. Harvesting and freezing younger eggs gives a woman her best chance at getting pregnant later on.

“It’s an insurance policy,” Dr. Darder added. “The quality of eggs does diminish, so harvesting should ideally take place in the 20s and early 30s. The sooner, the better.”

The process begins with a consultation, preliminary blood work and a general health check. Then, an ultrasound helps determine if there are enough eggs in the ovaries to make the procedure worthwhile. Next extensive counseling takes place on how to use the medications and inject the hormones that ramp up egg production.

This portion of the process takes approximately 10 days, during which blood tests and ultrasounds are administered to monitor egg growth. This may be done at any of IVF New Jersey’s four offices, which open early to accommodate working women.

“Once we have enough eggs growing, we do an egg retrieval at the Somerset office,” Dr. Darder continued. “It’s a minor surgical procedure under IV sedation. It only takes around 15 minutes. Patients can return home within about an hour, and can resume normal activities in a day.”

Dr. Darder is thankful for this minimally invasive procedure, which can be done quickly in the office. He said it’s far superior to the “old” method, which required in-hospital surgery, general anesthesia, and a longer recovery time. Today there’s no incision, no stitches and only some light spotting and mild cramping as side effects.

After the procedure, eggs are frozen and stored. When the time comes to attempt pregnancy, eggs are thawed and fertilized, and placed back into the womb via a non-surgical procedure.

“This is great technology,” he noted. “The egg survival rate is quite high: 75 percent at IVF New Jersey. It’s a great option for women who just aren’t ready to get pregnant, but would like to do so one day using their own eggs.”

IVF New Jersey offices are open every day of the year, by appointment, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Women interested in egg freezing, or any of the many fertility options offered at IVF New Jersey, may call 609-799-5666.

IVF New Jersey. ivfnj.com; 800-IVFNJ-44.

Hamilton Office: 3379 Quakerbridge Road, Suite 105, Hamilton. 609-799-5666.

Somerset Office: 81 Veronica Avenue, Somerset. 732-220-9060

Freehold Office: 495 Iron Bridge Road, Suite 10 (2nd Floor), Freehold, 732-577-6500.

Annandale Office: Concourse at Beaver Brook, 1465 Route 31 South, Annandale. 908-238-1220

Short Hills office: Opening soon!

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