There are many reasons a trans guy might consider undergoing the surgery for freezing his eggs. The biggest we’ve found is that in the future they may want to have children that are biologically theirs. That reason is stressed by the uncertainty of what hormone replacement, whether for a short period or long period, may have on our eggs and the ability to reproduce at a later date.
Given the medical rumors of children being born using two egg cells, or the couples who happen to have both sperm and eggs cells together, this act of preserving their future options, while carrying out there current transitional goals is important.
As our research has progressed, most sites suggest starting this process before starting hormone therapy. It is uncertain at this time and from the clinics we’ve researched as to whether or not years of testosterone will harm your egg cells. There are many cases where trans men have stopped testosterone treatment and worked with a family planning specialist to induce pregnancy. Much like a lot of our medical history, there is not ‘for certain’ or ‘definite’ answers unfortunately.
So how does it work? There is a difference between freezing egg cells and freezing embryos. Some people, due to religious beliefs, opt for the freezing of their eggs. Another reason that eggs might be frozen unfertilized is because the sperm donor, however that ingredient fits in, isn’t present yet or decided upon.
Egg cells are the largest in the body and they’re made of mostly water. This can cause the water to freeze and over time the cell is ruined. These days the clinics dehydrate the egg cell and then add a sort of ‘anti-freeze’ to the freezing process that protects the cell.
Egg cells are then frozen at -196 degrees Celsius, says USC Fertility and “based on scientific evidence, as well as our experience achieving pregnancies with frozen embryos we are confident that long-term storage of frozen eggs does not result in any decrease in quality”. They also reported that one embryo was frozen for almost 10 years.
How much does it cost? We’ve taken a look at a few different clinics and the average cost of the egg freezing cycle is around $10,000. At most places the eggs are stored for the first year at no cost, but after that anywhere from $300-$500 per year for storage fees. When it comes time to thaw them and use them, fertilization and embryo transfer procedures cost around $5,000.
Most clinics we’ve researched offer payment plans, though it isn’t clear at this point whether they work with insurances.