IS EGG FREEZING RIGHT FOR ME?
There are so many choices, decisions, opportunities to take in life that can change your journey. Is egg freezing one of them?
More women today are choosing to delay their childbearing years while establishing their careers and achieving a comfortable financial state. However, working is not always the reason. With greater opportunities available today, woman want to experience what life has to offer. Whether it’s furthering their education, traveling, waiting for Mr. Right or spending more time with their partner before bringing home baby, they’re making a conscious decision to hold off on pursing parenthood until they are emotionally and physically ready. One study found that three factors of influence had the most impact on women’s choice to delay:
- Being in a secure relationship
- Feeling in control of one’s life
- Feeling prepared to parent
Every woman may have their own personal reason and many are armed with the knowledge of their declining ovarian reserve, yet choose to delay even so. Preserving your fertility through egg freezing gives you options that were not available to the women of earlier generations. You should think of egg freezing as you would any investment. Invest when you are younger for the reward when you are older.
The younger and healthier your eggs are, the more likely it is that you will be able to conceive later with this technology. There are no guarantees, although studies show using certain technologies – such as vitrification- have shown better outcomes with future embryo implantation. When pursing elective egg freezing, it is important to understand that the younger you make the decision, the more likely you are to achieve your fertility goals.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR EGG FREEZING?
Today, egg freezing offers hope to women facing some types of cancer and/or cancer treatment that may damage their eggs or destroy ovarian function, as well as those who have not found the right partner or who have delayed having children for various reasons.
There are several different candidates for egg freezing:
- Women ages 21 to 44 who do not have a partner or for other personal or medical reasons need to delay child bearing and wish to preserve their chances of having a biologic child.
- Women diagnosed with cancer that will require chemotherapy or other treatment that could damage the eggs.
- Women with certain non-cancerous disorders who face potential sterility associated with their disease, for example, removal of both ovaries performed to treat a benign tumor or conditions such as endometriosis. In addition, women who test positive for the BRCA gene or who have a strong family history of ovarian cancer may elect to undergo prophylactic removal of the ovaries, and women with autoimmune diseases may be exposed to medications that are toxic to the oocyte or may experience premature (early) menopause.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
To freeze eggs, fertility doctors stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce an increased amount of eggs (more than the regular one egg per cycle), with fertility drugs. Eggs are retrieved in the same manner as is performed for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fertility drugs are administered to stimulate the development of multiple eggs within the ovaries. Fertility doctors then harvest these eggs from the ovaries and freeze them for later use.
A woman’s egg quality peaks between 16 to 28 years old during her reproductive prime. Eggs can still be acceptable from age 29 to 38 (the mid-reproductive years), but their quality diminishes greatly from age 39 to 44.
The cost of oocyte cryopreservation is similar to the cost of an IVF cycle. Generally, an annual fee is charged for storage of the cryopreserved oocytes after the first year, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is required to fertilize the thawed oocytes.
To learn more about egg freezing or to schedule an initial consult at our San Francisco office, please call 415-603-6999 or complete the form below.
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