Egg freezing seems to have been increasing in popularity as more women are preserving their fertility. Egg freezing has been around since the 1980’s, and was changed from “experimental” to “non-experimental” by ASRM, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in 2012. But egg freezing seems to be more popular than ever. Articles, comments, and posts about egg freezing plaster social media outlets as many women are opening up about freezing their eggs. Celebrities including contestants from the Bachelorette are instagramming pictures of their clinic visits. Prominent tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google have even begun to cover the cost of egg freezing for their employees. With all of this attention it’s no wonder that egg freezing has become part of the daily buzz on social media. However, amidst all this hype, where can a woman get reliable information to learn more and begin her own egg freezing journey?
Dr Russell Foulk at the Utah Fertility Center says “egg freezing is a revolutionary treatment that can lessen the worry a woman might have concerning the “biological clock” and the fear it brings of not having a baby if you wait”. Women who are interested in egg freezing should talk to a Reproductive Endocrinologist, which is an OB/GYN physician who has completed three additional years of specialized training in reproductive medicine and infertility. Here are 5 questions to consider discussing, when exploring your fertility preservation options:
Who should consider egg freezing?
There are a variety of reasons a women may choose to freeze her eggs. Career demands, partner situation, or simply timing may lead to her desire to preserve her future fertility . Freezing her eggs allows her a better opportunity to have biological children on her own schedule.
Is the age of a women important when freezing her eggs?
The simple answer is the earlier the better. While in general, men continuously produce sperm, women are born with their entire egg reserve and a large portion of a woman’s eggs are depleted before she even reaches puberty. Each woman has a unique biological clock but in general, women’s reproductive potential begins to sharply decline around the age of 35. By freezing eggs at a more youthful age, her fertility is virtually frozen and the biological clock stopped. Egg freezing isn’t a guarantee that a woman will end up with a baby, but her previously frozen eggs may provide a better opportunity for a successful future pregnancy .
What is the process to freeze eggs?
In order to retrieve eggs for freezing, a woman undergoes the same ovarian stimulation hormone-injection process as for in-vitro fertilization. Once the eggs have adequately matured, they are removed with a needle placed through the vagina under ultrasound guidance. This entire procedure is done under intravenous sedation. However, unlike IVF, following the egg retrieval the eggs are immediately frozen. These eggs will remain frozen until she chooses to thaw, fertilize and transfer to the uterus as embryos.
Is there an ideal number of eggs to freeze?
There isn’t one magic number that will guarantee a successful pregnancy outcome when a women decides to thaw her eggs and undergo IVF. In fact, the number of eggs a woman produces during each cycle of ovarian stimulation varies depending on factors like age and how her body responds to hormones. The older a woman is when freezing her eggs, the more eggs she should consider freezing. This may require that some women complete more than one cycle of ovarian stimulation to freeze her desired number of eggs.
How successful is egg freezing?
This is the all-important question when it comes to egg freezing. Speaking with a Reproductive Endocrinologist is often the best route to help a women gain a realistic understanding of her chances. As you might expect, the general answer to this question depends heavily on a womans’ age. According to Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. Women under 35 who tried to get pregnant with frozen eggs in 2015 had a 41.2% chance of giving birth. However, women should discuss the likelihood of a pregnancy with a medical professional when she is beginning the egg freezing process. Decisions on the number of eggs to freeze and cycles to complete can then be made for her particular situation.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with a Utah Fertility Center physician, call us at 801-785-5100 or complete form https://www.utahfertility.com/contact-us-salt-lake-city-utah-infertility/