Does Egg Freezing Come With A Guarantee?

Does Egg Freezing Come With A Guarantee?

Of course not. Nothing is guaranteed in reproduction.

Freezing your eggs for fertility preservation is certainly not guaranteed to result someday in a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. In fact as I scan across what’s on the internet I do not see anyone hyping egg freezing as a sure way to protect your fertility. Yet a clinical psychologist in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Northwestern University claims in an article she wrote the The Hill, that many women she counseled think that that egg freezing was an “insurance policy” against infertility. They inaccurately believed that freezing their eggs would guarantee they could have one or more babies at any age. I don’t think they get that idea from legitimate fertility centers. They may get it from “fake news.”

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine guidelines state that all women who freeze eggs should be “carefully counseled” about realistic chances of success. This counseling should not only be verbal but should also include a written explanation of the realistic probability. And that probability is related to the age at which they freeze the eggs.

So, what are the chances. She quotes that for the youngest group of women (<35 year olds) who freeze their eggs, 10 eggs are needed for a 70 percent chance of having just one baby. Women who are 40 to 42 years old will need as many as 50 eggs for that same 70 percent chance of having one baby. Yet the average number of eggs retrieved per cycle from the youngest group of women is slightly above 10 and for women in their 40’s is under 10. This means that in order to have a decent chance of having one or more children, most women will need to consider undergoing multiple costly cycles of egg freezing. Conventional wisdom is that under age 38, 6-8 thawed eggs results in a 50% chance of getting pregnant. That’s hardly a guarantee.

The take-home message is that for any fertility treatment get your doctor’s or clinic’s stats from the SART or CDC website before signing on the dotted line. And if anyone gives you a guarantee, head for the door.

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