Should you Freeze your Eggs?

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

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There are a number of reasons that a woman may wish to wait to have children. Some have decided to focus on their career, while others are simply waiting for the right person to come along.

However, just because these women have reached a certain age in their life, doesn’t mean that they do not wish to have children at all. In fact, many of these women are beginning to feel the pressure to have kids, but are still not sure that the time is right.

Instead of giving up hope of starting a family one day due to their age, many women are not beginning to consider freezing their eggs. While this can be a non-traditional method of having kids, it is becoming increasingly more popular for women in their 20s and 30s who are looking to have kids in the future, but are worried about running out of time.

1. Reproductive things to remember

Not sure if you should freeze your eggs? Here are few things to keep in mind to help you make that decision.

First, women are only given a limited number of eggs to work with. Men have the benefit of having an unlimited amount of sperm because they continue to produce it as they age.

However, women are different and are born with all the eggs that they will have. It is estimated that over 60% of these eggs are lost by the time a woman is born and 80% are lost by the time she reaches puberty.

different-fertility-preservation-options

You should also consider that the quality of your eggs diminishes with age as well. Women are most fertile in their early 20s and after that, fertility begins to decline. Once a woman reaches the age of 35, the quality of her eggs and her fertility begins to decline rapidly.

There is no way to stop this process, but there are ways to boost fertility. Studies have been conducted for decades looking for ways to help couples who were dealing with fertility. Although there was a limited focus on fertility preservation, there have been some options available, such as freezing eggs.

2. Freezing Eggs

The freezing of a woman’s eggs is becoming increasingly more popular for women who are looking to have children in the future, but are beginning to age. Although it is not a guarantee that pregnancy will be a success, it does give an option to women who are waiting. Doctors are able to inform women if they would be a good candidate for the procedure.

egg-freezing

Oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing is a fairly new concept that is still considered experimental. During this procedure a reproductive endocrinologist performs a special procedure that is intended to preserve a woman’s ability to have children by removing eggs when she is fertile and freezing them for later use.

3. Who will benefit from this procedure

There are a number of women that may benefit from having their eggs frozen. Many women choose to have this completed if they are ready to undergo cancer treatments that may damage their chances of having children in the future.

Others may be looking to delay having kids because of personal reasons or because of their career. Women with certain family medical histories, such as, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis and early menopause may also find the procedure beneficial.

egg-freezing-may-benefit-those-with-endometriosis

4. What’s involved with the procedure?

There are three basic steps to having a woman’s eggs frozen. The first involves stimulating your ovaries with injectable hormones and monitoring the maturity of the eggs that are produced through ovulation.

During the second step the eggs are retrieved. This usually takes about 15 minutes to complete and is fairly simple to do. The patient is sedated and a minimal invasive procedure is completed via ultrasound guidance. Anesthesia is required so recovery time is just a couple of hours. Normal activities can usually be continued the following day.

Injectable drugs are pictured inside an injection room at a hospital in Shanghai

After the eggs are extracted, specially trained lab techs will classify the eggs and freeze them through a special process. They are stored in a regulated facility and the theory is that they can be stored indefinitely. After they have been frozen, they will be stored in a long term storage facility.

When a woman is ready to become pregnant, the eggs will be transferred to your fertility specialist where they will be thawed and an attempt to fertilize them will be made. Embryos can then be implanted in the woman via a special procedure.

5. Conclusion

Choosing to freeze your eggs is a big step and it is rather expensive. However, if you are not ready to have children and are concerned about growing too old to become pregnant naturally, this may be an exciting opportunity for you to consider.

Should you Freeze your Eggs?, 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Ms. Ledoux began her career as an ObGyn nurse practitioner prior to becoming a practicing midwife in the Santa Cruz community. Working together with ObGyn physicians in her own practice, she has over 20 years experience in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth.
  • carmenforner

    I have pretty much everything to get pregnant and how I starting using this TTC kit. Its working I can tell I have never ovulated very well and now I tell when I am without even checking..