Should I Freeze My Eggs? It Depends


In an interview with “Attract”, Jennifer Aniston opened up for the first time about her journey with IVF, revealing that making an attempt to conceive was “actually laborious,” and she or he was “throwing every thing at it” within the midst of intense and merciless public scrutiny. “I might’ve given something if somebody had stated to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do your self a favor.’ You simply don’t assume it. So right here I’m at the moment. The ship has sailed,” the 53-year-old said. Aniston’s assertion belies what many think about to be the catch 22 of egg freezing: The optimum time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s, however at that time, preserving your fertility for the long run is probably going the very last thing in your thoughts. 

Or no less than it was. Now, egg freezing is turning into more and more fashionable as an choice for fertility preservation in youthful demographics. That’s for a few causes, says Lauren Steingold Makler, co-founder & CEO of Cofertility, an egg freezing and egg donation startup. “One of many largest drivers is that ladies are beginning households later than ever. The latest figures present that the common age of girls giving delivery is now 30 within the U.S., the best on file,” she notes. 

Associated: 8 things to know about egg freezing, from a fertility specialist

Moreover, in 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Drugs (ASRM) removed the “experimental” label from egg freezing procedures. “This actually opened the door to clinics starting to teach and market this service to girls nationwide. Since then, lots of of 1000’s of girls have been by way of the method and are talking about it publicly. This has created a snowball impact the place egg freezing is now a part of the Gen Z zeitgeist.” 

Cofertility was borne out of the truth that the way in which we construct households is extra dynamic than ever, Steingold Makler provides. “At its core, our platform provides girls the chance to freeze their eggs for *free* after they donate half of the retrieved eggs to a household who can’t in any other case conceive—like {couples} with infertility, homosexual dads, most cancers survivors, and extra.” 

Although it’s not with out limitations, egg freezing is a brilliant choice if you wish to give your self just a little extra time earlier than having youngsters, realizing it’s usually accepted that fertility begins declining round age 35. Whereas Steingold Makler could be very clear that egg freezing will not be fertility insurance coverage, “it will possibly improve your probabilities of having a wholesome child down the street, particularly should you intend to have youngsters later in life,” she says. One research reveals that for a lady beneath age 35, freezing 9 eggs provides you a 70% chance of at least one child. “As drugs and know-how advances, we hope to see this quantity improve even additional.” 

Right here’s extra data on the advantages, limitations and dangers of egg freezing to assist inform your choice. 

Advantages of egg freezing

Egg freezing, also called oocyte cryopreservation, is a course of through which eggs are extracted out of your ovaries to be frozen and used for future fertilization by way of assisted reproductive know-how (ART), akin to in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

“Selecting to protect your fertility by freezing your eggs is equal to stopping your organic clock,” writes Mark P. Leondires, MD, an OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist, for Motherly. “Egg freezing can also be used to assist protect the fertility of sufferers present process remedy for most cancers or those that are planning on transitioning. It’s an choice each lady ought to think about by the age of 35 if they need youngsters however merely aren’t prepared but.” 

Just a few explanation why individuals with ovaries might select to freeze their eggs:

  • Lengthen fertility into their 40s and past
  • Profession or academic targets
  • Lengthy-term journey plans
  • Not having discovered the appropriate companion
  • Earlier than present process most cancers remedy or different medical therapies
  • Prematurely of gender-affirming care

Solely you and your physician can decide whether or not egg freezing is the appropriate transfer for you, however some specialists help the process even up to age 40.

“The probabilities of a wholesome being pregnant have rather more to do with the age of the eggs on the time frozen than the age of the womb at being pregnant. As we age, our eggs usually tend to include chromosomal abnormalities which is the primary motive for miscarriage,” shares Steingold Makler. 

Basically, egg freezing can purchase you time. If you happen to resolve to not begin making an attempt to get pregnant till your mid-40s, any eggs you froze beforehand would doubtless be of upper high quality and could also be extra more likely to develop into fertilized than your current eggs at that time. It’s like being your individual future egg donor.

Associated: I’m not done having kids—and I think about my frozen embryos every day

Limitations of egg freezing

Having the choice to bear egg freezing could be life-changing for some, however it’s essential to do not forget that future being pregnant and delivery charges aren’t assured. “The being pregnant charge is inferior to I believe lots of girls assume it will likely be,” stated Dr. Marcelle Cedars, professor and director of the division of reproductive endocrinology on the College of California San Francisco and president of the ASRM, to The New York Times. “I at all times inform sufferers, ‘There’s not a child within the freezer. There’s an opportunity to get pregnant.’” 

Your probabilities of getting pregnant with beforehand frozen eggs might differ wherever from 12% to 70%, relying on the variety of eggs frozen and your age when the eggs have been extracted. A 15-year research printed in 2022 discovered that the average age women froze their eggs was 38.3. The prospect of a reside delivery from their frozen eggs was 39%, but when they have been youthful than 38 on the time of egg retrieval, the possibility of a reside delivery was 51%. Some eggs received’t survive the freezing course of, which is why amount counts. If girls youthful than 38 froze no less than 20 eggs, their chances of a live birth jumped to 70%.

Success charges differ between totally different fertility clinics, so it’s essential to do thorough analysis earlier than selecting one with the intention to guarantee your finest probability of success, writes Dr. Leondires. 

There’s additionally the possibility that you simply’ll freeze your eggs after which by no means use them. At that juncture, you may select to donate them to a different couple seeking to get pregnant, dedicate them to scientific analysis or have them thawed and discarded. Really, most people who freeze their eggs never have them fertilized, however surveys recommend that almost all are nonetheless more likely to be pleased with their choice to bear the egg freezing course of. “One research of egg freezing sufferers at UCSF discovered that 89% believed they might be glad they froze their eggs, even when they by no means used them to conceive a toddler,” cites Steingold Makler.

Associated: It’s time to stop calling infertility a women’s health issue

Prices of egg freezing

If you happen to’ve ever regarded into the method of egg freezing or egg donation, even on a floor stage, you understand simply how complicated—and dear it will possibly appear. Whereas some employers might contribute to overlaying bills, insurance coverage is unlikely to cowl your prices, until you might have a selected medical situation that may impression your fertility, akin to most cancers.  

Out of pocket, the prices of egg freezing could be exclusionary. “It’s about $12k to $20k after remedy and preliminary yearly storage charges,” notes Steingold Makler. “It’s an important factor when firms provide fertility protection, however sadly that is usually confined to the businesses that may afford that price, which [are usually] bigger firms that usually have already got advantaged workers by way of entry and compensation,” she notes. 

With Cofertility, Steingold Makler and her co-founders are aiming to demystify the method, promote reproductive alternative for all and take away a few of the price boundaries. With their Cut up choice, you’ll donate half of the eggs retrieved, and all of your medical bills (plus 10 years of storage) are coated by the household to whom you donate. If you happen to decide to maintain all of your eggs, you’ll be liable for the prices incurred. Both method, their Freeze by Co program will batch you in a cohort with others present process egg retrieval, so that you’ll have a gaggle to lean on. 

Dangers of egg freezing

Except for being historically costly, egg freezing is usually a time-consuming course of, and one with not insignificant bodily and hormonal impacts. 

You’ll have to first bear testing, together with blood attracts and ultrasounds, then take artificial hormones to advertise follicular growth, plus extra remedy to stop you from ovulating earlier than retrieval occurs. To advertise egg maturation, you’ll inject your self with hCG. The retrieval course of will doubtless occur in your physician’s workplace, the place your doctor will use suction to take away the eggs out of your ovaries one after the other (you’ll first be sedated). 

You would possibly expertise unwanted side effects from the hormones and medicines, however the retrieval process itself is taken into account low-risk. A 2017 research checked out greater than 23,000 egg retrieval procedures and located an overall complication rate of just 0.4%, Steingold Makler notes. “The best dangers exist for many who have pre-existing well being circumstances that put them in a better danger class. That’s the reason there are a variety of steps alongside the way in which designed to make sure a affected person’s security earlier than beginning the method.” 

Associated: How to avoid IVF injection bruising, according to an acupuncturist

A word from Motherly: Is egg freezing best for you?

Freezing your eggs can purchase you time relating to your fertility, however success charges might differ, so know that it’s not a type of fertility insurance coverage. Your future being pregnant probabilities will depend upon a full fertility evaluation, your present age and future fertility targets—it’s a person choice. Curious if it’s best for you? It’s finest to begin by establishing a session along with your physician. 

Featured professional

Lauren Steingold Makler is co-founder & CEO of Cofertility, an egg freezing and egg donation startup.


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Levi-Setti PE, Cirillo F, Scolaro V, Morenghi E, Heilbron F, Girardello D, Zannoni E, Patrizio P. Appraisal of clinical complications after 23,827 oocyte retrievals in a large assisted reproductive technology program. Fertility and Sterility. 2018 Jun 1;109(6):1038-43.

Maslow BS, Guarnaccia MM, Ramirez L, Klein JU. Likelihood of achieving a 50%, 60%, or 70% estimated live birth rate threshold with 1 or 2 cycles of planned oocyte cryopreservation. Journal of assisted replica and genetics. 2020 Jul;37(7):1637-43. doi:10.1007/s10815-020-01791-w

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