This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 6 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.
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This is Infertility

Episode 168: Egg Freezing 101

The Fertility 101 Series, because there’s no shortage of daunting terms to keep your mind running, is a quick and dirty breakdown on a specific topic with insights from a fertility expert.

In today’s episode, our host speaks with Dr. Anate Brauer, IVF Director at Shady Grove Fertility New York about all things egg freezing. She answers questions ranging from, “Why do people freeze their eggs?” to “How does it even work?”

If you’re questioning whether you would like to freeze your eggs, or just wonder about this modern medical practice, let this educational episode serve as a starting place.

For additional resources and answers to frequently asked questions, check out:

Guest: Dr. Anate Brauer, Shady Grove Fertility New York

Host: Dan Bulger, Progyny

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube:

Here are some highlights from this episode:

What is Egg Freezing?

01:14 – 02:20

Dr. Anate Brauer: So, egg freezing is the ability to stop your biological clock. We are born with all the eggs we’ll ever have, and we lose them over a lifetime. So, when we evaluate the ovaries, we care about two things, egg quantity and quality. So, as we get older, not only do we lose eggs, but the eggs retain age so they get more and more DNA mutations, which leads to an egg with the wrong number of chromosomes which either won’t fertilize or will fertilize and not implant or will fertilize and lead to miscarriage. That’s why we put eggs in the freezer, it gives us the ability to put them in the freezer when we have more of them and when they’re better quality.

Why Might Someone Freeze Their Eggs?

02:34 – 03:45

Dr. Anate Brauer: Category one is medical egg freezing. And in that category, we have patients who, unfortunately have been diagnosed with cancer at a young age, or an autoimmune disease that requires them to go on a medication that they can’t be on for conception, or anyone interested in gender affirming surgeries, or anyone who has endometriosis, which is a severe disease, destructive to the ovary. And so, all of those and some others are grouped in medical egg freezing, which is a wonderful technology that we have to help those categories of patients.

Dan Bulger: Then there’s the other category where egg freezing is solving a very serious and fairly modern problem that many with ovaries face around the world today. And that used to be called social egg freezing. And then people started to call it elective egg freezing. This is a category of people who were using egg freezing because for one reason or another, they are not in a position right now to have a baby. And they need to preserve their fertility for the future.

What’s the Egg Freezing Process?

05:47 – 07:13

Dr. Anate Brauer: So, your brain makes FSH only enough as a trigger for one egg. That egg grows as it matures, it makes estrogen that estrogen then tells the brain “Okay, I have my mature egg for the month, you can stop making FSH.” Then your brain makes another hormone called LH that leads to the final steps of maturation and eventual ovulation of the eggs. So, everything we do is based on what happens in a natural cycle. When we’re trying to stimulate someone’s ovaries to grow eggs, retrieve them and freeze them. We give you FSH through injectable medications. To allow the growth of multiple eggs — we want to feed the follicles to grow. So, you’re taking these injections for about 10 to 14 days. When the follicles have reached a certain size and the estrogen reaches a certain level, we mimic that LH surge that your body normally has. So, we trigger the final steps of maturation, instead of letting you ovulate we take you for an egg retrieval.

How Many Eggs Does Someone Need Frozen?

11:35 – 12:30

Dr. Anate Brauer: So, we published at SGF, a very large study of babies coming from frozen eggs. We took all of our data over about a decade and worked backwards to say in an age group, how many eggs that a woman needs to create that baby. And we found that in our 30 to 34-year-olds. If you have 20 mature eggs in the freezer, you have about an 80% chance of having at least one baby from those eggs, and about a 60% chance of having a second and about a 30% chance of having a third. So, in my 30 to 34-year-olds, I want them to have at least 20 mature eggs in the freezer.

The older you get, the more you need. So, for example, the 37 or 40 age group, you need about 30 eggs in the freezer to get those same numbers. So, how many retrievals it can take to get there really depends on your age level.

How Much Does It Cost?

15:29 – 16:21

Dr. Anate Brauer: Depending on where you go, it’s anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 for the cycle itself. Usually that includes everything. It includes monitoring, meaning all the ultrasounds, blood work that you’ll need, and includes the retrieval itself. Thankfully, more and more companies are covering this more and more insurances are covering this. And so, I do think I would say now about more than 50% of my egg freezers have some kind of coverage.
Dan Bulger


Dan Bulger
Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the past ten plus years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he has interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility and the producer behind the Progyny YouTube Channel which features interviews with dozens of the nation’s leading fertility specialists. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Dr. Brauer


Dr. Anate Brauer
Shady Grove Fertility New York

Anate A. Brauer, M.D., FACOG, is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at Shady Grove New York. Dr. Brauer has extensive experience in treating all medical and surgical aspects of infertility. She serves as SGF New York’s IVF Director. Dr. Brauer has published and presented at numerous national meetings on the topics of optimizing fertility treatments in patients with diminished ovarian reserve, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or those using a gestational surrogate; fertility preservation; and complementary therapies in infertility.

Dr. Brauer earned her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Brauer subsequently completed fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility-Weill Cornell Medical College.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Doctor Turtle
Track: The ants built a city on his chest

Track: I snost I lost