Egg freezing originated as a form of fertility preservation for women who had cancer and/or required medical treatment that threatened their fertility. Now, egg freezing is available for the female population at large, and is increasingly used by women who worry they won’t be ready to conceive during their optimal fertile window.
Women who opt to freeze their eggs run through the same initial protocol as women who receive IVF treatments. You’ll undergo certain fertility tests – specifically those that evaluate hormone levels and egg reserves. This helps to ensure that egg retrieval now won’t compromise future egg stores if you change your mind and decide to pursue pregnancy sooner rather than later.
Once you’re ready, you’ll take the same types of fertility medications taken by women pursuing IVF treatments, which cause your body to release multiple eggs at the same time. Once the eggs are retrieved, they’re vitrified (frozen) and stored until you’re ready to use them for your own IVF procedure.
The Best Candidates for Egg Freezing Are…
Very generally speaking, you’re a candidate for egg freezing if you are healthy, 39-years old or less and have normal hormone levels. There are several different scenarios that inspire women to freeze their eggs, optimizing their future fertility chances.
You’ve had a cancer or medical diagnosis that threatens fertility
Certain cancers and certain cancer treatments can compromise fertility. In fact, this was the driving force that led doctors to research female fertility preservation in the first place. If you’ve received a cancer diagnosis, or any medical treatment diagnosis that increases your risk of infertility later on, schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist to discuss your options.
You’re on the academic and/or career path
Many amazing women pursue demanding academic and/or career paths as mothers, but it’s not an easy road. If your future trajectory means delaying motherhood until age 37 or older, egg freezing might be an option for you. You’ll notice that IVF success rates are notably higher from women before age 35, after which they taper off dramatically.
This is because the quality of the egg matters, and egg quality diminishes rapidly for women 35-years and older. If you don’t see yourself having children before you turn 35, it’s a good idea to freeze your eggs while you’re on the younger side. Assuming there are no other fertility issues at work, this will put your IVF success rates at the age you were when you froze your eggs, rather than the age you are when you have IVF.
Mr. Right hasn’t appeared…yet
Many single women opt to use IUI and donor sperm to improve their chances of conceiving a healthy baby without egg freezing – and without a father in the picture. However, we understand this option doesn’t appeal to all women. If you’re 35-years or older, and Mr. Right hasn’t appeared, egg freezing can provide peace of mind, ensuring eggs are plentiful and available when he does make an appearance and the you’re ready to start a family.
Are you interested in learning more about egg freezing options? Contact us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas to schedule a consultation.