This article addresses important questions about what egg freezing includes, who it’s for, whether there are potential risks, and what the benefits are.
Time For Children
The maternal clock is ticking for Vivian. At age 31, she has no prospects for marriage and a busy career to navigate. It is time for a crucial decision—one that requires consultation with an in vitro fertilization (IVF) and fertility specialist.
Tamara is a married 26-year-old woman who has been unsuccessful in attempts to conceive a child for two years. After discussing the matter with her husband, she is considering IVF.
For different reasons, both women contemplate the similar medical procedures. But the solution for other women may have additional motivations, including surrogacy. This brings up important questions about what egg freezing is, who it’s for, whether there are potential risks, and what the benefits are.
What is Egg Freezing
Egg freezing is a revolutionary reproductive technology that gives women the freedom to preserve their fertility for the future. The process typically involves a doctor or nurse extracting the eggs from a woman’s ovaries using a laparoscopic surgery. These eggs are then frozen for use later in life.
Who Egg Freezing is For
Egg freezing is a viable option for women who are looking to postpone motherhood and ensure their fertility for the future. Thus, women can delay having children until an opportune time.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a fertility specialist at Budget IVF & Fertility Centre states that, “Egg freezing has become an increasingly popular choice for women wishing to preserve their fertility, with success rates on the rise.”
Risks of Egg Freezing
There are risks, including infection, with any medical procedure. Family history and overall health vary among patients. All eggs are unique and have their own set of risks and benefits. The optimum age to begin freezing eggs is 26. Some of the risks that come with this procedure include:
- Eggs may not be viable upon retrieved
- Older frozen eggs may be unsuitable
- Lengthy and expensive implantation process
Benefits of Egg Freezing
For many patients, benefits of egg freezing for fertility preservation outweigh potential risks:
- 1. Control over fertility: Egg freezing allows women to preserve their fertility for future use. It gives them control over their reproductive potential and also the timing of starting a family.
- 2. Increased chances of pregnancy: By freezing eggs at a younger age, women can maximize their chances of having a successful pregnancy in the future, especially as fertility decreases with age.
- 3. Career and life planning: Women who wish to focus on their careers or personal goals can freeze their eggs, which will allow them to delay starting a family until they are ready.
- 4. Reducing the impact of age: The decline in egg quality and quantity with age is a major factor affecting female fertility. By freezing eggs, women can reduce the impact of age on their future pregnancy outcomes.
The Victorian Government (Department of Health) acknowledges that, A woman in her early to mid-20s has a 25–30% chance of getting pregnant every month. Fertility generally starts to reduce when a woman is in her early 30s, and more so after the age of 35. By age 40, the chance of getting pregnant in any monthly cycle is around 5%.
- 5. Freedom to focus on career and life goals: Women can freeze their eggs and delay starting a family until they are ready, without having to sacrifice their career or personal goals.
- 6. A path to parenthood for single women: Single women who wish to have children in the future can freeze their eggs to have a better chance of a successful pregnancy later in life.
- 7. Managing medical conditions: Women with medical conditions that may affect their fertility, such as cancer, can freeze their eggs to ensure they have a better chance of having a family in the future.
- 8. Informed decision-making: Women can make an informed decision about egg freezing after receiving education and counseling on the risks and benefits.
- 9. Preserving fertility for a future family: By freezing eggs, women can preserve their fertility and have the option of starting a family in the future, even if their fertility has declined with age or they face medical challenges.
- 10. Latest technology: Egg freezing technology has improved significantly in recent years, with higher success rates and more efficient methods for freezing and thawing eggs.
Freezing eggs is a very personal decision that should only be done if a woman is confident she can afford the risks to reap the benefits. Through egg retrieval with cryogenic preservation, women can pursue other plans before starting a family. It also provides insurance against age-related infertility and other conditions that may affect a woman’s ability to conceive later.
Understanding the risks at her age, Vivian chooses egg freezing. Tamara elects to undergo IVF without freezing. If similar treatment is something you are considering, discuss options with a fertility specialist.
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