Anne Borkowski, MD

Reproductive Endocrinologist
Infertility Specialist

4250 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL, 60076

Welcome to the North Shore Fertility Web Site



Egg Freezing, Fertility Preservation

As women are waiting longer to have children, egg freezing is becoming more relevant and in demand. While we have made great strides in other areas, our fertility is still limited by basic biology - the "biological clock" generally stops ticking in our late 30's or early 40's. Our opportunities are endless, but our egg supply and egg quality are not, that is why more women are seeking egg freezing services.

Egg Freezing offers women planning to have children after the age of 35 the opportunity to effectively slow down their biological clocks. North Shore Fertility's egg freezing program gives women the unprecedented chance to store their eggs during their reproductive prime for use when they wish to start or expand their families. 

In the past, difficulty with egg freezing was due to an egg's tendency to develop ice crystals during the freezing process, which compromise the integrity of the egg, as well as hardening of the egg's outer membrane, making fertilization difficult. Two recent breakthroughs have allowed scientists to overcome these egg freezing problems.

The first is the development of a new culture media system that protects from damage during the egg freezing/thawing process. The media system dehydrates eggs during egg freezing and rehydrates the egg during thawing, thereby minimizing the formation of ice crystals during the egg freezing process. The second breakthrough in egg freezing is a fertilization technique known as ICSI (Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection). With ICSI egg freezing services, the embryologist injects the egg with a single sperm in order to fertilize it. 

In October 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the “experimental” control on egg freezing, deeming the process standard for fertility treatments. By researching numerous studies, they found no increase in birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities, or developmental disorders when IVF was completed using frozen oocytes.

Over 2,000 babies have been born as a result of egg freezing. However, there is no national data available showing how many IVF cycles are completed using eggs frozen at an earlier date. While the Center for Disease Control does not require clinics to report this information, many fertility centers choose to share their data on their websites. Many show a 50% success rate using eggs frozen before the age of 36.

Though the process is relatively new, doctors foresee an increase in the demand for egg freezing as more and more women delay childbearing. With the American Society for Reproductive Medicine now supporting the process, egg freezing should be considered a safe and effective means to stopping your biological clock and preserving parenthood for the future.