More women than ever before are choosing to freeze eggs to preserve their future fertility, but many women still have fears about undergoing the procedure. I hope that by debunking some of the myths about the egg freezing process that some of these fears will be laid to rest.
As a reproductive endocrinologist, here are some of the more common myths that I hear about egg freezing:
- Myth #1: Women can freeze eggs at any age. The age at which a woman freezes her eggs is the biggest predictor of whether or not she will have a successful pregnancy from those eggs. The reason for this is that for every woman, egg quality naturally declines with age. So, freezing eggs before the age of 35, when egg quality is the best, is ideal. If you can’t get to it before age 35 though, freezing eggs prior to age 38 still gives women a good chance for a future pregnancy. After age 38, the success rate significantly decreases.
- Myth #2: Egg freezing is a guarantee of future pregnancy. While egg freezing prior to age 38 gives women a good chance of having a pregnancy in the future, the process is not a guarantee of pregnancy. Women should not rely on egg freezing to build their future families. It is still recommended that women try to conceive on their own before their natural fertility declines.
- Myth #3: Women only need to do one cycle of egg freezing. While that may be true for some women, others may need to do more than one egg freezing cycle to have a good chance at pregnancy in the future. In general, the more eggs you have frozen, the higher your chances at pregnancy will be in the future. What many women don’t realize is that it takes many frozen eggs to create one viable embryo.
- Myth #4: Egg freezing will cause my natural fertility to decline. Egg freezing does not deplete a woman of her eggs. When women freeze eggs, they are only using eggs that would have naturally been lost anyway.
- Myth #5: All egg freezing centers are the same. Not all egg freezing centers have the experience and technology to successfully freeze and thaw eggs. You want to look for a center that has lots of experience with this and one that uses vitrification for their egg freezing technology.
Freezing eggs is great opportunity for women to take control of their reproductive futures. It gives many women a chance to have pregnancy later in life. Understanding the process and knowing the benefits and risks may help you decide if this is the right choice for your future. If you’re considering freezing your eggs, I would encourage you to speak with a reproductive endocrinologist to help you make that decision.