Many women have been pondering on whether to freeze their eggs. Real-life artists and celebrities such as Siobhan Roy and Kourtney Kardashian have spoken about it, and such discussions are becoming prevalent in the media. According to research, more women today are exploring the possibilities of freezing their eggs, especially since many people are delaying giving birth due to career choices and other life circumstances.
Knowing more about egg freezing can help you make an informed choice.
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing is essentially in-vitro fertilization (IVF) without an embryo implanted. The process starts with receiving hormonal injections to stimulate ovulation so that your ovaries produce more eggs. Then you undergo minimally invasive surgery to retrieve the eggs in a process similar to IVF, a fertility treatment that assists couples who cannot conceive naturally.
While the goal of IVF is to fertilize the eggs and produce an embryo to be implanted in the mother’s womb, egg freezing banks the unfertilized eggs for future use. So, you can freeze your eggs if you want to have kids one day in the future, and you are worried that fertility declines with age.
Some women do several cycles to retrieve more eggs for freezing and increase the chances of pregnancy because not all eggs develop into embryos. Generally, the more eggs you freeze, the higher your shot at a healthy embryo. Luckily, there is no limit to how long you can bank your eggs after freezing them. If or when you decide to use them to conceive, they are thawed and fertilized with sperms to produce an embryo that may develop into a successful pregnancy.
How much does it cost to freeze your eggs?
Although the cost of egg freezing differs from one provider to another, the average cost in the US is $11,000 per cycle. Still, you also have to factor in the cost of hormonal medications (around $5000) and annual banking fees (around $500). So the overall costs depend on how many years you want to store the eggs, and the costs may go up if you decide to undergo multiple cycles to retrieve more eggs.
Is it worth it?
So you are still wondering, is freezing my eggs worth it? The answer to this question depends on your goals. Some women freeze their eggs to prioritize career goals, plan for the same-sex family, wait to find the right partner to conceive with. After all, the usage rates of frozen eggs are at 3-9% because many women who do it end up getting pregnant naturally or decide not to have babies.
Your age also plays a role; women at a younger age can produce more eggs in one cycle, which have a better chance of producing a healthy embryo. Also, research suggests that women who froze their eggs below the age of 36 had a 95% chance of successfully thawing their eggs.
The final verdict
Luckily, advancing technologies have made egg freezing safe and more effective, although it can be tricky to gauge whether its benefits outweigh its costs. Assessing whether egg freezing is a viable option is essentially a personal question impacted by age and personal finances.