We are very pleased to announce that we have recently reached a company milestone of more than 1,000 egg freezing cycles at Shady Grove Fertility. Just a few years ago, egg freezing was a rarely discussed topic and was infrequently recommended by physicians and fertility specialists, alike. Now, egg freezing is commonly discussed in the media and by women of reproductive age. From creation to its current mass-awareness, egg freezing has come a long way, and reaching 1,000 egg freezing cycles is just the beginning. At Shady Grove Fertility alone, the interest in egg freezing has increased 60 percent each year since 2010.
“This milestone is evidence that egg freezing is considered mainstream,” says Sarah Elizabeth Richards, author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It. “The technology is better, and more women are taking advantage of this technology to safeguard their fertility for the future when they’re ready to become mothers.”
A Medical Breakthrough for Women
Whether a woman chooses elective egg freezing to preserve her fertility or for medical reasons—such as a recent cancer diagnosis, endometriosis, or a family history of premature ovarian failure—egg freezing is proving to be a medical breakthrough.
“As physicians, we strive to provide patients with the medical treatment needed to preserve fertility,” says Robert J. Stillman, M.D., medical director emeritus of Shady Grove Fertility. “When egg freezing first became available, few were able to access this treatment, but as information and awareness has increased, so has the number of women interested in preserving their fertility,” adds Stillman.
Greater Experience Leads to Better Outcomes for Patients
As a leader in reproductive medicine, Shady Grove Fertility offers extensive experience in egg freezing for women looking to extend their fertility options for the future, should they need assisted reproductive technology to conceive.
“One of the things we find encouraging is the more we do, the better we become. We are in a constant pursuit to optimize the technique—not only from the technological perspective but also from an outcome perspective. With this vast experience, we can better guide and inform patients regarding their expectations of the process and outcome,” says Joseph Doyle, M.D., reproductive endocrinologist and egg freezing advocate.
“The more experience we gain, the better we can hone our program and educate women about the number of eggs they should freeze to ensure they have the best chance of having a baby using frozen eggs in the future,” adds Doyle.
A Brief History of Egg Freezing
Fertility centers initially offered egg freezing cycles specifically for women prior to cancer treatment, as an option to preserve fertility from the damage cancer treatment has on a woman’s fertility. However, with the advent of vitrification for oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the experimental label claiming egg freezing an effective way for women to electively extend their fertility potential. Vitrification, which employs a fast-freeze technique, revolutionized fertility treatment in centers across the country and proved to be a more effective and reliable way to freeze eggs than the previous slow-freeze process that would often damage eggs.
“At Shady Grove Fertility, we believe strongly in practicing only evidence-based medicine. It’s the data, along with our collective experience and knowledge that informs our processes. We designed a unique Egg Freezing Program to specifically meet the needs of women who wish to pursue elective egg freezing and we are pleased to announce that it is a growing option among women,” says Dr. Doyle.