In 2014 both Apple and Facebook announced they would cover egg-freezing costs for their female employees. This came on the heels of the 2012 announcement, by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, that egg freezing was no longer considered experimental. These announcements, combined with the fact that the last several years have seen an increase in the number of women who choose to delay childbearing, sparked a lot of conversation about this method of fertility preservation.
The Reproductive Care Centre weighs in on the pros and cons of egg freezing below to help you make sense of it.
First, a quick look at how eggs are frozen. It’s a relatively simple process in which the patient experiences minimal discomfort. Birth control pills are taken to “quiet” the ovaries, then the ovaries are stimulated with mediation for approximately 10 days in order to produce eggs. Next, the eggs are retrieved using a minor surgical procedure and then frozen for future use. The entire process takes about two weeks.
Who’s Freezing Their Eggs?
All types of women choose to freeze their eggs. Some do it for health reasons, others do it for education or career reasons, and several choose this option because they simply haven’t found the right partner yet. Many women find it empowering and emotionally satisfying to be able to take active steps to increase their chances of having their own biological children in the future. Many patients choose to freeze their eggs for the following reasons:
- They know they want a child someday, but aren’t yet ready
- They have health issues that have compromised their fertility
- They haven’t met their partner yet
- They are focused on completing their education or advancing their career
No matter your situation, studies show that the earlier you freeze your eggs, the better. Ideally, before you turn 35 years old. Younger eggs are healthier eggs, and healthier eggs have a better chance of someday becoming a healthy baby. For more information on the ideal time to freeze your eggs, contact The Reproductive Care Centre.
One of the greatest pros of freezing your eggs is choice. Although the “biological clock” still ticks away even after you’ve frozen your eggs, taking steps to up your odds of having a genetically related child when you’re ready to become a mother reduces some of the time pressure and stress. Other pros include:
- Provides an option for women with health issues that impact their fertility
- Improved technology makes egg freezing more successful than ever
- Potentially reduces the need for an egg donor in the future
- Reduces the stress of finding the right partner
- Enables women to focus on education or career
- Potentially an option for women whose religions advise against freezing embryos
Egg freezing isn’t for everyone. It’s an emotional and financial investment that may not have the desired results. Some women opt not to freeze their eggs for the following reasons:
- It costs thousands of dollars, along with an annual storage fee
- Anesthesia is used for the egg retrieval; many people have a fear of “going under”
- Pregnancy isn’t guaranteed
The decision to freeze your eggs is a very personal one. If you think you may be interested and would like to discuss the pros and cons in depth, you can request an appointment here. Or call our Mississauga office at 905-816-9822 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.