Our Doctors Are Commonly Asked – Who Should Freeze Eggs?
Successful freezing of eggs has been a challenge for fertility specialists and embryology laboratories for decades. However, vitrification, a new technology introduced in the past several years, has vastly improved the success of egg freezing. The first pregnancy reported from frozen mature eggs occurred in 1986. But with better technology, egg freezing is now becoming more mainstream. Vitrification is an extremely rapid procedure in which the egg or embryo is preserved in a glass-like state, avoiding ice crystal formation which can damage eggs or embryos. With this new technology – who should freeze their eggs?
Women are interested in freezing eggs for many reasons.
One reason is to preserve fertility in women who have been diagnosed with cancer requiring certain types of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery that may damage or destroy a woman’s ovaries. Removing and freezing eggs for these women prior to cancer treatment gives them the hope of being able to have a family after their treatment has ended.
A second group of women who decide to freeze eggs are those who want to delay starting their family.
If a woman freezes her eggs at a younger age, she will have a higher chance of pregnancy by using those eggs to have a family years from now. The likelihood of a chromosomally normal baby is related to the age of a woman when her egg was frozen, not her age when she actually delivers. This is why egg freezing makes sense for women who know they won’t be starting a family until a time when their biological clock may make it difficult for them to do so on their own.
The third group of women who may want to freeze eggs are those who find out, through blood testing and/or a pelvic ultrasound, that they have low ovarian reserve. These women may not be ready to start a family, but want to have options when the time comes. They appreciate the security in knowing they were able to freeze eggs while they still had a chance to do so.
Because of new developments in technology, egg freezing is considered a safe, effective choice for all women who need this option. Many women have already benefited from TFC’s ability to preserve their fertility into the future.
For more information, please call for an appointment.