Should you freeze your eggs and when?
To freeze or not to freeze. It’s a question we are hearing more often these days, especially as more and more women are postponing pregnancy for personal reasons. Nowadays, many women want more time get an education or to build their career before starting a family. Others are waiting for “Mr. Right,” or are just not ready yet for the commitment of time, money and energy associated with raising children.
Our Baton Rouge and Lafayette fertility center teams help women weigh the pros and cons of egg freezing, taking into account the cost of egg freezing, ovarian reserve and age, and the desired timeline for starting a family.
The evolution of egg freezing
Elective egg freezing initially gained in popularity after the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the “experimental” label from the procedure in 2012, in part because a new quick-freeze vitrification method radically improved success rates. Before then, egg freezing was typically only offered to women prior to starting medical procedures, such as chemotherapy or pelvic surgery, which could interfere with future fertility.
Today, it’s becoming more commonplace for large companies, like Apple and Facebook, to provide fertility benefits including egg freezing in their employee health plans. And with more women taking advantage of egg freezing for family planning, the concept of fertility preservation has become a hot topic in reproductive medicine and among women and couples facing decisions about their future fertility and family building.
So, understandably, there is much excitement in our fertility profession about the technology of egg freezing, which essentially puts the biological clock on hold. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have and her age is the #1 reason fertility declines. The technology of egg freezing lets a woman avoid the mad scramble for a mate and is a viable option for any woman who wants to delay pregnancy for personal reasons.
When is the best time to freeze eggs?
Your age is the primary consideration in deciding when you should freeze your eggs. Since a woman is born with all of the eggs she’ll ever have, diminishing in number and quality as time passes, age is major factor. Ideally, a woman should freeze her eggs in her prime reproductive years — her 20s and early 30s — when egg production is greatest and egg quality is highest. This 10- to 15-year interval is the ideal time to harvest and preserve your eggs.
Fertility testing is also important in deciding the best time to freeze eggs. These include antral follicle counts, as well as hormone and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) blood testing, to assess ovarian reserve. These tests will yield key information about your remaining egg supply.
Get peace of mind with egg freezing
While there is no guarantee for a successful outcome, knowing that your genetic materials are tucked safely away can bring peace of mind and the confidence to pursue your dreams now before fulfilling the dream of becoming a mother later.
Contact our Baton Rouge or Lafayette fertility center for a consultation with one of our board certified reproductive endocrinologists.