Egg freezing for elective fertility preservation has become more popular over the last several years and, in an ideal world, would give every woman the chance to delay their fertility until they find the right time in their lives to have a child. As a recent article in the Washington Post points out though, it doesn’t always work out that way. While egg freezing gives women a higher chance to have a pregnancy later in life, it certainly is not a guarantee of future pregnancy.
If you are considering freezing your eggs, there are several things you should know about how to maximize your chance of success:
- The age at which you freeze your eggs directly correlates with your chance of success. Freezing your eggs before the age of 35 is ideal, but even up to age 38 gives most women a good chance for future pregnancy. After age 38, the chance of success starts to decline more quickly.
- In general, the more eggs you have frozen, the better. What many women don’t realize is that it takes many frozen eggs to create a viable embryo. Although egg freezing technology is great these days, not every egg will survive the freeze-thaw process. In addition, of the eggs that survive thawing, not every one will fertilize. And, of the ones that fertilize, not every one will create a viable embryo. So, the numbers can dwindle quickly.
- Choosing the right center for egg freezing is important. You want to make sure you choose a center that has lots of experience with egg freezing and thawing. Of all the cells in our bodies, eggs have the highest water content. This makes them delicate and more difficult to freeze/thaw than embryos and other types of cells. It’s important to find a center with embryologists that have mastered this technique.
- Egg freezing technology is important. You want to make sure the center uses the vitrification method for egg freezing. Compared to slow freezing of eggs, vitrification gives a higher chance of success.
If you are considering freezing your eggs, it’s important to educate yourself about the process, so that you know the right questions to ask and understand how to maximize your chance of success in the future.
In my opinion, egg freezing should absolutely be considered by any woman who is considering delaying childbearing until her late 30’s or longer. Although egg freezing does not guarantee a future pregnancy, it certainly gives many women the chance they would have not had otherwise.
At Reproductive Partners, we have the skill, experience, and technology for successful egg freezing. Our longstanding partnership with Donor Egg Bank USA and our success with them has given us a proven track record of creating successful pregnancies from frozen and thawed eggs.