Why Should I Freeze My Eggs?
Doing fertility preservation by egg cryopreservation is an option for women today. Since 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine has approved the procedure stating that “…in young patients egg freezing techniques have been shown to produce pregnancy rates, leading to the birth of healthy babies, comparable to IVF cycles using fresh eggs.” So, although this method of extending fertility was not an option in the past, today it is a viable option.
The successful outcome of an frozen egg cycle will depend on the age a woman decides to freeze her eggs as well as how many eggs she has frozen. We recommend that for women younger than 38, freezing 15 to 20 mature eggs will give them approximately a 70 to 80 percent chance of at least one live birth. For women who are 38 to 40 years old, freezing 25 to 30 mature eggs will give them approximately a 65 to 75 percent chance of at least one live birth.
There are a few reasons why a young woman may choose to freeze her eggs:
Women may not be ready to start a family in their twenties or early thirties. Delaying having a child might have to do with further schooling, a career or perhaps not having met the right partner yet.
Biological Clock Uncertainty
A woman might be worried about her ability to conceive in the future if she waits too long and is uncertain as to when or if she would want to. By freezing her eggs she is “hedging” her bets with that clock and gives her that option should she choose to do so later in life.
A woman with a history of endometriosis, premature ovarian failure, or is undergoing treatment for cancer, needs to seriously consider fertility preservation. Egg freezing can help her to keep family building an option for the future.
The Egg Freezing Process
All patients are seen by Dr. Ramirez for a consultation followed by ovarian reserve testing to evaluate current fertility potential. Testing is often covered by insurance. The results from ovarian reserve testing combined with current medical history will enable both the patient and the doctor to come up with the best plan and recommendation for both freezing and using the eggs in the future. Afterwards, the patient can make an informed decision about when and how many eggs to freeze.
Should a patient wish to freeze her eggs based on the physician’s recommendations, there are two components of the total egg freezing cost: the cost of freezing eggs and the cost of using frozen eggs later to have a baby. The initial costs are similar to that of a normal IVF cycle without the fee for transfer. The process leading up to retrieval is the same as that of an IVF cycle except that the eggs that are retrieved undergo “vitrification”, or flash-freezing, which has been proven to provide strong fertilization and embryonic development rates after the eggs have been thawed. Those eggs will stay suspended in time at the quality they possessed at the time of the freeze until the patient decides to use them.