According to an article in the Washington Post among urban women in their 30s, freezing is trending. Suddenly, many women “now have a friend of a friend who has frozen,” says Sarah Elizabeth Richards, a journalist who has had eggs frozen twice.
Only two years ago, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the “experimental” label long attached to egg freezing, giving women a way to extend their reproductive potential, perhaps long past the natural expiration date. Since then, “more clinics are offering it,” Richards says. Large corporations are catching on, too, tossing in egg freezing as a perk to enlist female talent: Last month, Facebook and Apple became the first to announce that they would each offer $20,000 for the reproductive treatments.
Until recently, the most common choice for many women and couples seeking to have children but unable or unwilling to conceive naturally was IVF. Egg freezing was largely reserved for young egg donors and women about to embark on aggressive cancer treatments. Like IVF, freezing begins with the harvesting of a woman’s eggs but stops short of fertilization; only when women are ready to conceive are their eggs thawed, fertilized and implanted . The birthrate among women electively freezing their eggs is still fuzzy.
Fuzzy? Although the vast majority of freezers have yet to thaw-fertilize-transfer we have pretty good clues to the potential of this technology. When this is used for egg donation we are seeing take-home baby rates hovering around 50% when 5-8 eggs are used. Of course this is in a much younger population than freezes for fertility preservation but studies have shown then 6-8 eggs are frozen before age 38 the success rate hovers around 50%.
So the point is that one’s chances of success with this procedure is related to the age at which the individual decides to freeze.
The take-home message is freeze early. For more information please see our page on egg freezing and for complete information on egg freezing, click to the right on that page to schedule a consultation. You will get more specific meaningful information about you than you will by attending an egg freezing party.