Who Should Freeze Their Eggs?
Life has changed a lot for women over the last 5-10 decades. You now have more freedoms and more choices than your mother and grandmothers ever had.
In addition to education and career paths, one of the most significant changes has been in the timing and manner in which you choose to start a family.
To accommodate these choices, many women have decided to freeze their eggs to add a little extra time to their biological clock. But that’s not the only reason.
Our fertility specialists at IVFMD take a closer look at egg freezing and the reasons women consider this step in their reproductive journey. With three offices in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area, we’ve become the go-to resource for women seeking high-quality, expert fertility care.
If you’ve been wondering about egg freezing and whether it’s something you ought to consider, keep reading to get a better picture of who should freeze their eggs and why.
The rising popularity of egg freezing
The concept of freezing eggs has been around for a long time, but it has steadily increased in popularity over the past 10 years. In 2009, only 475 women opted to freeze their eggs, but seven years later, that number rose to 7,276 women.
That increase was due in part to a new freezing technology called vitrification, which was introduced in 2008 as a way of rapidly freezing embryos. When it was applied to the freezing of eggs as well, the egg survival rate hit 90%, and the resulting pregnancy rate from these vitrified eggs reached above 50%.
Who should consider egg freezing?
For many women, egg freezing can be the answer to complicated fertility and medical problems that stand in the way of having a baby. It can also be the answer for women who choose to delay pregnancy for personal reasons. Here’s a look at who should consider egg freezing.
Women who may enter menopause prematurely
If you have a family history of premature menopause, you may miss your chance to have a baby. The average age for menopause — the cessation of your monthly period and the end of your fertility — is 51.
If you begin menopause before you’re 40 years old, it’s considered premature, and the years leading up to it can cause a drop in your estrogen levels and your fertility.
If any of the women in your family have a history of premature menopause, it may be a good idea to freeze some of your eggs to ensure you can become pregnant when you’re ready.
Women who aren’t ready to have a baby yet
There are more working women than ever before, and many value their careers as much as they do having a family. Egg freezing allows women to focus on their careers or other interests without worrying about their biological clock ticking away.
But job status isn’t the only reason to delay getting pregnant. Egg freezing provides some breathing room while you find the right partner. Men also play a role in this decision, because if he’s not ready, that’s another reason to hold off and freeze your eggs.
Couples concerned with the ethical implications of freezing embryos
The medical and technological advances in the field of fertility have made some amazing breakthroughs that allow couples who once had no hope to conceive and begin their families. But some of these procedures pose ethical issues.
Freezing embryos is one of those procedures. To give you the best chance of conceiving during the in vitro fertilization process, we harvest several eggs and fertilize them with your partner’s sperm. After they culture for five days, we transfer one or two of them to your uterus for implantation. But the remaining embryos are frozen for future use.
If you don’t choose to use them later or you can’t for some reason, those embryos — the beginning of human life — are left in a frozen state. Although some couples choose to donate them to other infertile couples, the leftover, unused embryos present a serious ethical problem for some.
In this case, egg freezing may be a better option, since it’s only a single cell and not an embryo.
Women with medical conditions that prevent or delay pregnancy
Certain medical conditions and their treatments can make conception difficult or lead to infertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and even cancer can prevent pregnancy.
Egg freezing allows women experiencing these challenges to retain their fertility despite their medical condition.
To learn more about egg freezing and whether you’re a good candidate, contact us at any of our three locations or use our online booking tool today. Our offices are in Grapevine, Arlington, and Irving, Texas.
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