3 Facts You Need to Know About Freezing Your Eggs – Part 1

 

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Egg Freezing has been considered by many to be one of the most incredible advancements in modern medicine – and it really is. It can help women with fertility problems have babies when they once thought their parenting dreams were over. That said, there are always some factors to consider, especially when it comes to egg freezing for women who could, presently, get pregnant but are choosing to delay it for a variety of reasons.

Egg Freezing for Young Women

 

As stated above, egg-freezing as a safety net option for healthy women to delay pregnancy is a little more complicated. While this option gives women control over their reproductive choices, it’s important to note that it is not necessarily a fail-safe way to control that choice, and some doctors are concerned about the way it’s being marketed.

If this is a potential choice for you, here are a few things to consider.

1. Why do women freeze their eggs?

Some women want to postpone pregnancy and focus on climbing the corporate ladder. For others, according to a survey of 740 women by Cosmopolitan.com, 75% of respondents said that they want to “take the pressure off finding a partner before a certain age.”

Women who have been diagnosed with cancer may also choose to freeze their eggs. Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, can destroy a woman’s eggs and result in infertility.

“For a woman with cancer who is facing infertility, it’s a godsend that she can freeze her eggs,” said Dr. Schriock. “These cases give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, because egg freezing allows the woman to have children when she otherwise wouldn’t be able to.”

2. When is the best age to freeze eggs?

Experts disagree about the ideal age to freeze eggs. Some argue that it may be unnecessary to freeze your eggs at age 25, because you might conceive naturally when you’ve settled down at age 30. On the flip side, it could be risky to wait too long. Studies show that fertility drops quickly after age 35 and rapidly declines after age 38.

Dr. Schriock believes that the ideal age is between 28 and 34. But this decision is highly personal and will need to account for a variety of factors, including how many children a woman wants and when she would like to begin her first pregnancy.

3. How does the process work?

First, a woman needs to schedule an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. She will undergo blood tests and ultrasounds. The goal is to evaluate the quality and quantity of her existing eggs.

A patient will then take daily doses of a hormone called FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to produce multiple eggs for retrieval. She will self-inject FSH once a day for about 10 days, using a small needle. Meanwhile, a physician will monitor the woman’s eggs via ultrasound and determine when they are ready to be retrieved.

“The retrieval process is like having blood drawn,” said Dr. Schriock. “But instead of puncturing the skin, the needle goes into the vaginal wall and ovaries about half an inch. During the 10-minute procedure, patients are sedated. They nap and don’t feel anything.”

Be sure to see our next post with 3 more things you need to know about freezing your eggs.

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