Egg Freezing and Embryo Banking

Recent advances in assisted reproductive technologies have given women more options and choices for building families than ever before. Fertility preservation allows women to choose the right time to have their babies.

Increasingly popular options for women are egg freezing — in which eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and frozen — and embryo banking, which involves fertilizing the egg with sperm before freezing.  At Columbia University Fertility Center we offer the most advanced egg and embryo freezing procedures available, giving patients more options than ever to build their families. The centers use a first-of-its kind technology to provide additional security for the tanks storing frozen embryos and eggs.

Women choose egg freezing and embryo banking for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Diagnosis of cancer—many women choose to freeze eggs prior to cancer therapy
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Rapidly declining ovarian function
  • Delaying child-bearing for personal and situational reasons
  • Taking advantage of optimal egg viability for future conception

How it Works

The process for egg freezing and embryo banking is very similar to a typical in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle and lasts approximately two weeks. Many women and couples choose both egg freezing and embryo banking to preserve both fertilized and unfertilized eggs.

Daily hormone injections stimulate the ovaries and come to our center frequently for monitoring the growth of the egg follicles using blood work and ultrasounds. When the eggs are then retrieved while the patient is under deep sedation and the eggs are then frozen. When a patient elects to use the eggs in the future, they will be thawed and combined with sperm from a male partner or a sperm donor.

Cancer and Fertility Preservation

For women who have been diagnosed with cancer, Columbia University Fertility Center has one of the most sensitive and longstanding oncofertility programs in the nation. Note that there is help when it comes to paying for embryo and egg freezing, as well as the medications required:

  • A discounted rate and free medications for treatment may be available through Columbia University Fertility Center's partnership with Fertile Hope.
  • Free medications are also provided by the Walgreens Heart Beat program for qualified patients.

Egg Freezing Versus Embryo Banking

Women seek egg and embryo freezing for similar reasons. Embryo freezing is a more established treatment option with excellent success rates, whereas egg freezing is newer with less data available. The survival of blastocyst embryo is higher than survival of eggs after freezing. Any normal remaining embryos after IVF may also be frozen for implantation at a later time.

Getting Started

To get started, please call 646-756-8282 and speak to one of our care coordinators. They will help you coordinate your care, schedule an appointment, answer any questions or concerns you may have, and link you to the many resources available. Our goal is to make an appointment for you within three business days.

Your physician will assess what is the most appropriate option for you and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

How much does egg freezing cost?

A freezing cycle with the experts at Columbia University Fertility Center costs $6,300. Price for anesthesia not included. Our care coordinators can help you understand how insurance coverage works when it comes to fertility preservation.