Fertility Preservation And Egg Freezing? Who Should Freeze Their Eggs And When?

Having children is one of the biggest sources of joy in life, but due to numerous factors such as career demands, relationships, and the economy, many have delayed growing or starting a family until their late 30s and 40s, thus decreasing their chances of conceiving or delivering a child naturally.

Fertility declines with age, egg quality—otherwise known as fertility potential—typically remains relatively high into a woman’s early 30s, but then generally declines more rapidly in the late 30s and early 40s.

In fact, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, by age 40, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant naturally is less than 5%, so fewer than 5 out of every 100 women are expected to be successful.

Advances in research have now made fertility preservation a valid option, available for those waiting later in life to start a family. So, what exactly is egg freezing and who should freeze their eggs?

What is Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing (also known as oocyte cryopreservation) is used to maintain fertility in women by removing their eggs (oocytes), freezing them, and storing them for later use.

When a woman freezes her eggs, they are preserved at the same quality as when they were retrieved and not at a later age when she tries to conceive.  For example, if a woman elects to freeze her eggs at the age of 31 and is not ready to attempt pregnancy until the age of 40, her eggs will have the quality of when she was 31 years old. 

Who Should Freeze Their Eggs?

Egg freezing has a greater chance of success in younger women. It’s best for women who want to freeze their eggs to do it as soon as possible. Women in their later 20s and early 30s tend to have a higher ovarian reserve and a better chance to saving necessary number and quality of eggs. There is no perfect age for egg freezing, but freezing at an earlier age will usually yield better results.   

A few situations when egg freezing should be considered:

  •         As a precaution against not having access to healthy eggs in the future, young women who want to pursue rigorous school or occupations may choose to freeze their eggs. Some corporate entities (like Facebook and Apple, for example), even may pay for their female workers to undergo egg-freezing procedures.

  •         Women hoping to start a family with a partner but haven’t found one yet, have the option of freezing their mature eggs for later use. Women in same-sex relationships might also wish to freeze their eggs until the timing is right.

  •         In some cases, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments may negatively impact fertility. In light of the improved survival rate of many cancer treatments, freezing your eggs prior to treatment provides the opportunity to have a family following later in life. At RISE Fertility, we work closely with a woman’s oncologist to time the egg retrieval in coordination with cancer treatment.  

An individual’s fertility is influenced by several factors, including uterine health, age, and general health.  At our RISE fertility center in Orange County, California, we provide a personalized approach for treating your infertility situation. To start your fertility journey with us, schedule a consult with our fertility expert today.

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