Fertility Preservation is becoming an important issue for all women who desire to postpone their family planning.
Egg freezing offers a reliable alternative. Egg-freezing became recently a very popular discussion topic. In October 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) officially announced that the process of egg-freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) is not considered experimental anymore, but a routine procedure such as IVF. This decision was made after thorough examination of over 1.000 scientific publications suggesting that pregnancy success rates when using “frozen” eggs are equal to those when sing “fresh” eggs.
Who should consider egg freezing?
Initially, this procedure was developed for patients going through various treatments affecting fertility (e.g. chemotherapy) in order to achieve a future pregnancy. However, it has become widely accepted for social reasons too. Today, more and more women postpone their family planning in order to complete their studies, develop their professional career or just wait until they meet the right partner. Women who choose egg freezing, report that they feel less stressed, as well as being able to think more clearly without the pressure to take hasty decisions about their professional or personal life.
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing is actually very similar to the first stage of an IVF. The ovarian stimulation begins early in the menstrual cycle and the medication usually lasts 10 to 12 days. The procedure is regularly monitored with ultrasound and blood tests (hormonal levels). Once the eggs are adequately matured the oocyte retrieval is scheduled. The embryologists will prepare the collected eggs and freeze them to remain available until the woman will decide to try for a baby.
Which is the best age to freeze eggs?
As the saying goes, “the sooner the better”. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) suggests the age of 38 as the maximum limit, and always after thorough consideration of the woman’s general health condition, her reproductive ability and medical history (hormonal profile, other health issues, medication, etc.). When a woman freezes her eggs at the age of 35, even if she decides to get pregnant at 42, she will maintain her former reproductive age and not her present physical age. In this sense, one could say that this method can actually “freeze” time! Unfortunately, women very often delay that decision until it is too late. We should always keep in mind that a woman over 40, already exhibiting several menstrual abnormalities, could not have the same pregnancy success rates compared with a younger one.
How much does the procedure cost?
Egg freezing costs about the same as an IVF cycle. The medication cost and the annual expense of egg cryopreservation have to be taken also into account.