The healthcare team will guide you through every step of your egg freezing cycle, from obtaining your medication through pharmacies that specialize in fertility hormones to training on how and when to inject yourself.
That’s why, during an egg freezing cycle, you’ll be prescribed hormone injections for 8–11 days; these hormone medications stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs in one cycle (instead of just the one egg produced in a typical menstrual cycle), increasing the doctor’s chances of finding healthy eggs later. More eggs, more potential!
You’ll call the office on the first day of a normal menstrual flow—you know best what that means for your body. (If you’re not sure, just ask! The team is here to help.) On that day, you’ll schedule your first visit, during which the doctor will perform a transvaginal ultrasound and hormone blood testing. Once the results are in, you’ll get the green light to start your individual medication and monitoring plan.
The first medication is a hormone (follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH)—or combination of hormones (FSH and luteinizing hormone, or LH)—that gets your ovaries working overtime to produce multiple eggs. This medication is normally started on the first or second day of your egg freezing cycle, and is injected once or twice daily for 8–11 days. The second medication is called an “antagonist,” because instead of helping to stimulate your ovaries, it actually prevents you from ovulating early and releasing your eggs before the retrieval. The antagonist is usually injected once daily, beginning mid-cycle. The final medication, known as a “trigger,” is injected 36 hours before the retrieval, prepping your body to release the eggs at just the right time.
Timing is everything, and these medications work together to make sure your body and your egg freezing cycle plan are on the same page. These are just estimates based on a typical treatment plan—your plan may look different, so make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions.
See a list of egg freezing medications here.
Most women find the injections easy once they receive hands-on instruction from a nurse in a one-on-one training session. As for the discomfort level, that’ll depend on how sensitive you are, but because the injections are made subcutaneously (under the skin, not into the muscle like a flu shot) and with short, thin needles, it’s generally more of a pain than it is painful.
Remember, you’re never alone during your egg freezing cycle—if you need help with your medication (or anything else), the healthcare team is just a phone call or e-mail away.
These visits, typically scheduled in the morning before work, usually take under 30 minutes, and may include a blood test and/or an ultrasound to assess how your body is responding to the medication. Because each body is different, the doctor can use the information gained at these visits to adjust your medication or your egg freezing cycle schedule, if necessary.
These medications and monitoring visits get your ovaries ready for their close-up: the egg retrieval.
Learn more about the egg retrieval.