These days it’s popular to talk about 40 being the new 30. Unfortunately, this does not apply to a woman’s fertility, which peaks in her 20s, then declines in her 30s.
One option for fertility preservation that has been getting a lot of attention recently is egg freezing. Historically, egg freezing was an option for young women with medical problems. Now, women who do not have major health problems but are considering delaying having a family are wondering if egg preservation could be a potential option for them.
Human oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) is a novel technology done in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF), in which a woman’s eggs are extracted, frozen and stored. Later, when she is ready to try and become pregnant, the eggs may be able to be thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
Pei Lin Kim decided to freeze her eggs at the age of 34. She says, “After consulting with my physician, I decided to freeze my eggs so that if I experience infertility issues when I decide that the time is right for me to have children, I may have another option that could help me start a family.”
Success rates of IVF with thawed eggs depend on many factors, such as the woman’s age and fertility potential at the time of freezing, successful thawing and a successful IVF procedure. There is no guarantee that the process results in being able to have a healthy baby.
Pei Lin’s doctor, David Ryley, MD of Boston notes, “While egg preservation is not guaranteed to lead to childbirth, just as no infertility treatment is guaranteed a positive outcome, more women are considering the procedure. Women must weigh pros and cons based on personal circumstances and should consult with their doctor to learn about their fertility potential, risks of delayed childbirth, risks associated with the procedure — including medications — and facts associated with elective egg freezing.”
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine does not currently recommend egg freezing for patients who wish to delay childbirth due to insufficient data on the efficacy and safety of this procedure for these patients.
For more information see http://www.myeggfreezing.com/.
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