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In a process known as cryopreservation, a woman’s unfertilized eggs can be harvested, frozen, and placed in long-term storage. Unlike embryo freezing, egg freezing does not require sperm for fertilization. As such, this is an ideal option for single women, or those who want to reserve the option to one day have children with a different partner.
The egg-freezing process includes these steps:
The embryo-freezing process is similar to the egg-freezing process. After retrieval, eggs are fertilized with sperm to create embryos that are frozen for future implantation. When the woman wishes to become pregnant, the embryo can be thawed, and transferred into the uterus. This procedure usually does not involve sedation and takes only a few minutes.