How Many Eggs Should a Woman Freeze to Have a Baby?

A new tool may help women, who are considering freezing their eggs, understand their chance of having a baby based on the number of eggs they freeze.  Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently published this prediction model in the journal, Human Reproduction. They used data from over 500 IVF cycles and genetic testing results from 14,500 embryos to create a prediction tool that may help a woman decide how many eggs to freeze, based on her age and how many children she would like to have.

When women come to my office to discuss egg freezing, one of the most common questions they ask is, “How many eggs should I freeze?”. This has been a difficult question to answer in the past since relatively few women, who have previously frozen eggs, have returned to use them.  Elective egg freezing has only increased in popularity over the last several years, so most women who have frozen eggs just haven’t wanted to use them yet.  This means that there is limited data available to counsel patients who want to undergo elective fertility preservation.

This prediction tool can help women understand their success rates with egg freezing and it can help physicians counsel patients about how to best meet their future fertility goals.  For instance, using this prediction tool, a patient can see that the chance of having a baby varies based on the age at which she freezes her eggs.  According to the calculation, if a woman freezes 20 eggs at 34, 37, or 42 years old, her chance of having at least one baby from those eggs is 90, 75, 0r 37%, respectively.  Similarly, we can use the tool to show that for women who are 34, 37, or 42 years old, they would need to freeze 10, 20, or 61 eggs, respectively, to have a 75% chance at having at least one child.

If you’re considering egg freezing, a fertility specialist can use this prediction model to help you make the best decisions to meet your future goals for a family.  Even if you’re on the fence about it, setting up a consultation with a fertility specialist is a simple step to take to better understand your fertility potential.  As they say, knowledge is power.

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