You may have heard about egg freezing before, but not know what it actually entails. Unlike sperm, eggs are much more difficult to extract and preserve, but it could be an option that’s right for you when it comes to family planning.
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg Freezing (different from embryo freezing) is a process by which several of your healthy eggs are harvested when you’re in a fertile period of your life (i.e. before perimenopause) and then flash frozen, to later be fertilized by IVF.
There are many reasons why hitting ‘extend’ on your fertility can be an attractive option. Most people associate it with those who have a demanding career that they are unable to take time out for, or those who haven’t found a partner with whom they want to raise children with yet.
Other reasons you may be considering freezing eggs are if you have been diagnosed with a disease like cancer, where treatment may impact your fertility. If you’re a transgender man, testosterone treatment doesn’t necessarily stop fertility, but if you’re considering other medical transition steps, you may still want to preserve eggs for later use with your partner.
Some major cons of egg freezing include the invasive and uncomfortable methods of collection – you have to take hormones during the process – and the extremely high costs. Costs are generally in the thousands, as you need to pay for both the medications to facilitate egg harvesting, the extraction procedure, storage of your eggs, and the later costs of IVF. While some employers like Google and Facebook are starting to cover the costs of egg freezing for their employees, there is also the simple fact that there is a guarantee of success.
According to the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority in the UK, there were just 500 babies born via frozen eggs between 2010 and 2016. It’s still not a very common practice, and current success rate is about 18% for those using their own eggs.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.