The scales of fertility have long been imbalanced between women and men. While male fertility does decline with age, it declines at a much slower rate than female fertility. Female fertility begins to decline at age 30 and takes a sharp decline around age 35. Pair that harsh biological fact with the reality that more women today are going to college and working during their most fertile years, and you end up with a family-planning scenario that is complicated for many women.
What is the biggest complication to starting a family? The shelf life of a woman’s fertility. Perhaps because more women are focusing on their careers well into their thirties or forties, or would prefer to wait longer to meet the right partner, there are many reasons why more and more women are choosing assisted fertility options. For women who plan on delaying motherhood and feel they need to take control of their own fertility, egg freezing an option.
What You Need to Know about Egg Freezing
If you are considering freezing your eggs, you probably already know that egg freezing is an expensive process, particularly if you undergo it repeatedly to save as many of your young eggs as possible. Before you schedule the official appointment with a fertility clinic, take a look at the information about egg freezing that we've included here.
Why Choose Egg Freezing?
A woman’s fertility decreases with age primarily because older eggs are not as fertile as younger eggs. In addition to reduced viability, older eggs have lost some of their integrity. That is, they are more likely to result in babies that have chromosomal abnormalities or other problems that could more easily be avoided with younger eggs.
Having your younger eggs frozen and ready for use during in vitro fertilization (IVF), when the time is right, is a good way to ensure that your more fertile and robust eggs are used for creating your future baby. This approach is also an especially attractive idea for women who have been newly diagnosed with cancer and know they will be infertile after treatment.
Egg Freezing Advantages
- It's an empowering choice for women who would like to preserve the fertility of their eggs
- Freezing multiple eggs is handy in case some frozen eggs don't thaw correctly
- The option to use the eggs of others can open up more possibilities
- It can make dating during later years less strenuous for women wanting to start a family, because there is less pressure to quickly find a mate who also wants children
Egg Freezing Disadvantages
- It doesn’t always work – success of the process is contingent on a woman's reproductive system reacting positively to the implanted embryo
- It’s expensive, running about $6,500-$15,000 per cycle on average in the U.S.
- The procedure is still new
- Although younger eggs help greatly in older pregnancies, older women may have more difficulty carrying a pregnancy to full term