Egg freezing is a great option for couples that would like to wait until they are older to become pregnant or who expect to have fertility issues. It is also an option for a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy. The indications of which couples or individuals should consider freezing eggs and when freezing eggs is an option depend on the circumstances and lifestyles of the couples and individuals. Below is a discussion of the indications of when and whether egg freezing is a viable option.
Indications of When Egg Freezing May Be an Option
Couples that want to wait until later in life to have children might want to consider freezing the woman’s eggs. A woman’s fertility declines rapidly after age 35, making it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant or maintain a pregnancy without a miscarriage. Freezing eggs will enable a woman with declined fertility to use her eggs to become pregnant after age 35. This is also true for a single woman who does not expect to have or want children before she is 35.
A woman needing to undergo certain medical treatments that may affect her fertility may also want to freeze her eggs. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer may severely reduce or eliminate a woman’s ability to create eggs or become pregnant, regardless of the cancer’s location. A woman being treated for cancer may want to freeze her eggs so that in the future she or a surrogate may carry a genetically-related child.
Additionally, other medical conditions may affect a woman’s ability to develop eggs in the future. Diabetes, emotional or mental conditions or other medical ailments may impede a woman’s fertility. Should it even be possible that a woman’s current health will impact her fertility, she may want to consider freezing her eggs.
Indications of Whether Egg Freezing May Be an Option
A woman with healthy eggs that expects or anticipates those eggs to no longer be healthy or viable in the future, when she wishes to become pregnant, should consider egg freezing. A woman that is unable to produce eggs or that already has damaged ovaries will not be able to freeze her eggs.
Also important is the location and experience of the local egg freezing clinic and specialist. Depending on your area, you may not have a local egg freezing facility, the local facility may be quite expensive, or there may not be a physician located nearby experienced in egg freezing. In these circumstances, egg freezing may not be an option.
Egg freezing is not inexpensive. The retrieval procedure can cost anywhere from $6,000-$11,000, and does not include the yearly fee for keeping the eggs frozen. A woman or couple able to afford the initial and ongoing costs may want to consider egg freezing.
Physical or Emotional Indications
Egg freezing can take a large physical and emotional toll on the woman. The medications that are ingested or injected and the egg retrieval procedure places the body under a large amount of physical stress. Additionally, stress about the success of the procedure or the future viability of frozen eggs can be extreme and taxing. A woman in good health that is able to handle stress should be able to freeze her eggs; a woman in poor health or experiencing high stress should consider other options or wait until her circumstances have changed prior to freezing her eggs.