The first step is to schedule a fertility assessment, during which our healthcare team will gather information for your consultation with one of our accomplished reproductive endocrinologists. You’ll also meet your fertility advisor, who will guide you through each step of the process.
If you’ve had any hormone, HIV, or STI blood tests completed in the last 12 months, bring the results with you—it might be one fewer test we’ll have to run after your first visit. Bring Pap smear results completed in the last 12 months, too.
If you have any significant medical history that might come up in your conversation with the doctor—like a history of gynecological issues, surgeries, or long-term medical treatment—bringing medical records can be helpful.
If your period is regular, this will help the team understand where you are in your cycle.
As you move forward, your fertility advisor will stick with you through the whole process to make sure you always have the answers and support you need.
We’re born with all the eggs we’ll ever have, and with each passing month we either use ‘em or let ‘em go. So the older we get, the fewer we have in our reserves (literally—it’s called your “ovarian reserve”). One of the best ways to estimate your egg quantity is a transvaginal ultrasound. During a transvaginal ultrasound, a doctor places an ultrasound wand into your vagina in order to get a picture of your uterus and ovaries. It usually doesn’t hurt, but it can be a bit uncomfortable, like a gynecological exam.
This ultrasound allows the doctor to count the number of egg follicles, or the structures that hold individual eggs, in your ovaries. This number is called your antral follicle count. Generally, the higher the antral follicle count, the higher the ovarian reserve.
The other way to estimate your ovarian reserve is through blood tests that measure your AMH, or Anti-Müllerian Hormone. AMH is a hormone produced by cells in your ovarian follicles, so a higher AMH level generally means a higher ovarian reserve.
Because our lab will be handling your human tissue—your eggs—during the freezing process, some additional blood tests are required by law, such as HIV and sexually transmitted infection screening. (Plus, we want to make sure your overall health is in a good place to start this process!) You can have the blood for these tests drawn at during your visit, or you can request them from your OB/GYN or primary care doctor—it’s up to you.
Once the healthcare team has gathered all the necessary information, you’re ready to schedule a consultation with one of our reproductive endocrinologists (physicians who specialize in fertility). At this meeting, you’ll discuss your fertility, your age, and your medical history, as well as your goals for the future.
You’ll also talk about the egg freezing process. Knowledge is power, so you should expect to be fully informed throughout every step of freezing your eggs. Your physician will explain everything, including the medication, the egg retrieval procedure, and cryopreservation, at this first meeting.
We understand you might have a lot of questions at this point. That’s a good thing! This is your time, so feel free to bring a list of questions to your consultation so you don’t forget anything. We want you to have all the information you need to feel comfortable with whatever decision you make about egg freezing. (Don’t freak out if you do forget something during the consultation—the physicians and staff are here to answer all your questions throughout the process.)