Egg Freezing - Process, Indications and Risks

By Dr. Nutan Pakhare

Fertility can be a sensitive topic, and it is essential to consider all options available. Egg freezing is one such option, allowing women to plan their families on their terms. However, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this procedure before deciding. We want to support you in this process and help you understand the indications and potential risks of egg freezing. By doing so, you can make an informed decision that is right for you. 

The Process of Egg Freezing


Freeze her eggs, a woman first undergoes ten days of hormonal stimulation injections while following a healthy, stress-free diet and lifestyle. This encourages the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. After the eggs mature, a minimally invasive procedure is conducted under anaesthesia to retrieve the eggs.

The eggs are then rapidly frozen using vitrification, which involves immersing them in a liquid nitrogen bath with sucrose. This process preserves the eggs’ viability in a nitrogen tank for an extended period. When needed, the eggs can be used in an embryo transfer procedure.

egg freezing

Indications for Egg Freezing


  1. Medical Reasons: Women facing medical treatments such as chemotherapy or women at substantial risk of infertility due to reproductive health disorders that may affect fertility often opt for egg freezing to preserve their reproductive options.
  2. Delaying Parenthood: Egg freezing is an option available to women who wish to delay parenthood due to distinct reasons such as the fear of declining egg quality in later years, lack of a partner or an insurance policy. It allows them to preserve their eggs for later use, thus providing an opportunity to have biological children later in life.
  3. Career Planning: Many women choose to freeze their eggs as an initiative-taking measure, especially if they prioritise career goals over starting a family in their prime reproductive years.

Risks of Egg Freezing


  1. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): The use of hormonal medications for ovarian stimulation can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can lead to abdominal discomfort and swelling, both in the present and later in life.
  2. Emotional and Mental Effects of Egg Freezing: Egg freezing is a complex process that affects individuals emotionally and mentally. It can provide a sense of control over the reproductive future but also lead to anxiety and stress. It offers relief for those facing medical treatments that may impact fertility. Deciding to freeze eggs involves personal, professional, and financial considerations and can cause a range of emotions. It is essential to have a support system in place, including counselling services. Fertility clinics often offer counselling services to help individuals cope with emotional aspects. Open communication with healthcare providers and a thorough understanding of the process can also lead to a positive experience.
  3. Not Guaranteed Success: While vitrification has improved success rates, it is essential to recognise that not all frozen eggs will result in a successful pregnancy.
  4. Success Rates: Egg freezing and natural conception success rates are influenced by the same age-related factors. Younger women tend to have higher success rates in both scenarios. Success rates for frozen eggs have improved significantly with the advent of vitrification (flash-freezing) technology. However, it is essential to note that success rates can vary based on several factors, including the woman’s age at the time of freezing. In general, the success rates for using frozen eggs in assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), can range from 30% to 60% for live births. Success rates are often influenced by factors like the number and quality of eggs retrieved and the woman’s age.

Use of stored eggs – Research has shown that only 5% of the population has used frozen eggs for conception. Compared to fresh eggs, frozen eggs may have slightly lower success rates. Fresh eggs are typically used immediately in an IVF cycle, while frozen eggs may undergo additional processes before use, potentially affecting their viability.

5. Cost and time are both high. It takes 5-10 cycles to freeze multiple eggs to select fertile ones in larger quantities at an excessive cost.



  1. Age Factor: Egg freezing tends to be more successful at a younger age, so it may not be as effective for women in their late thirties or older. Even though age is a critical factor, egg freezing can still be beneficial for women who are facing medical treatments that may affect fertility or those who have other life circumstances that lead them to delay childbirth.
  2. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as ovarian disorders, may limit the effectiveness of egg freezing. Guide to Egg Freezing for Medical Reasons — Freeze
  3. Financial Considerations: The cost of egg freezing and subsequent fertility treatments can be a significant barrier for some individuals.



Making decisions about fertility is complex and personal. The success rate of egg freezing is influenced by several factors, with age being a significant determinant. While it offers a valuable option for preserving fertility, individuals should approach it with a thorough understanding of their unique circumstances and potential challenges.

In conclusion, egg freezing is a groundbreaking advancement in reproductive technology, offering women more control over their fertility timelines. However, it is essential to approach this option with a balanced perspective, considering potential risks, individual circumstances, and financial implications.

The message is clear – nothing comes without a price, whether on the mental, physical, emotional, or financial front. While egg freezing provides a valuable choice, the ultimate wisdom lies in making informed decisions that align with one’s overall life goals. Becoming a parent can be complicated, but allowing it to happen naturally can be a very fulfilling experience. Seeking advice from a fertility/Garbhasanskar specialist can provide personalised guidance and insights. We are here to assist you in navigating the correct path towards pregnancy.