10 Aug Number of Women Freezing Eggs Soars
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), an optimal time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s and early 30s. This presumably ensures you still have a sturdy ovarian reserve (the number of eggs in your ovaries) and the eggs are healthy.
Having your hormones tested by a fertility specialist can help define the state of your ovarian reserve, and help you decide if you should consider egg freezing.
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, is a method used to save women’s ability to get pregnant in the future. Eggs harvested from your ovaries are frozen, unfertilized, and stored for later use.
Egg freezing puts women in charge of their fertility future instead of letting time dictate the path. In 2009, nearly 500 women froze their eggs, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). By 2016, that number jumped to over 7,000, and by 2017 — nearly 11,000 women chose to freeze their eggs.
Who Benefits from Egg (oocyte) Freezing?
Cryopreservation of the oocytes can be considered for a variety of reasons:
- Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatments for certain types of cancer can result in infertility. Freezing eggs before beginning treatment gives you the option to use healthy eggs to conceive after recovering from cancer.
- Career-focused. Some individuals may wish to delay pregnancy to focus on their careers. Egg freezing offers an opportunity to preserve the eggs at their healthiest, which is when an individual is at a younger age, to then be used later.
- Relationship reasons. People may want to delay pregnancy until they find the right partner, but want to preserve their eggs when they are younger.
- Donated eggs. LGBTQ+ couples or those using donated eggs to have a child often use frozen eggs.
- Transgender and transitioning. Egg freezing is an option for individuals who are transitioning and would like to preserve their eggs for future use.
- Job hazards. For those who work with hazardous chemicals, egg freezing beforehand can store healthy oocytes before they can be damaged.
- Ethical or religious concerns. Some individuals undergoing IVF may not want to create more embryos than can be used for pregnancy. To avoid this, eggs can be retrieved and frozen, then utilized singly in the future to create one embryo.
How Can a Patient Prepare for Egg Freezing?
Before beginning egg cryopreservation, a fertility specialist may recommend testing the ovarian reserve, which never increases but continually decreases. This test can help determine the quality and quantity of eggs. The results of this test can help the physician understand how the person may respond to the medication. Screening for any infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B or C and HIV, may also be performed.
Now, more than ever, there are more opportunities and methods to preserve one’s fertility IVF technology has advanced over recent years, and can now provide concrete solutions to those considering fertility preservation. Are you interested in freezing your eggs? Schedule a complimentary consult.