Causes & Treatment

Why You Might Consider Freezing Your Eggs

Eloise Edington  |  13 Aug 2021


Fertility Help

When planning to start a family, you may be concerned about timing. A lot of people tend to postpone having a family, not understanding the effect that can have on egg reserve and quality. Medical advances in fertility treatments have now made it possible for young women to freeze their eggs safely, without affecting the quality, offering them the possibility of postponing parenthood until after medical treatment, or until later on in their careers. Unless a medical intervention demands the freezing of eggs in order to have a chance of genetic parenthood, it is a decision that should be taken carefully by anyone considering it merely as a career/lifestyle option, because IVF in an unpredictable, emotional and physical rollercoaster, even if you have had your eggs cryopreserved. 

To help our Fertility Help Hub readers explore egg freezing (cryopreservation) as a treatment option, we have reached out to Laurel Fertility Care to explain the main reasons behind egg freezing and why this is increasingly becoming a popular choice for some women. 

Words by Laurel Fertility Care

Why Egg Freezing?

In 2012, The American Society for Reproductive Medicine stated that egg freezing is no longer considered an experimental procedure and is an acceptable treatment option. Cryopreservation of eggs, embryos and sperm allow patients to protect their future fertility. 

As a society, we are waiting longer to start our family due to professional, social, or health reasons and many may not be ready to start the journey; they may want to defer having a child until the time is right for them.

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Two Common Reasons For Cryopreservation

The two most common reasons patients choose cryopreservation are: lifestyle choices and medical necessity:

Lifestyle

While many women might wish to put off having a child until later in life, the natural age-related decline in female fertility begins in their 30’s and even more rapidly after the age of 35.  Preserving is a viable option for women who have decided ahead of time that they want to delay starting a family.

Medical Necessity

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, genetic conditions with a likelihood of ovarian failure, and some surgeries can put your reproductive health at risk. The American Cancer Society suggests healthcare providers advise their patients on the risk of infertility and the assisted reproductive strategies that are available.

Related Article – Egg Freezing & Embryo Grading

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Egg Freezing Process and Treatment Options

At Laurel Fertility Care, the vitrification technique of cryopreservation is used to freeze sperm, eggs, and embryos. During the egg-freezing process, eggs are exposed to solutions to help survive freezing and are then plunged into liquid nitrogen at extremely low temperatures. Evidence strongly suggests that this is a superior process of egg freezing to the older methods and leads to improved survival and pregnancy rates.

Male patients can provide a sperm sample to be frozen or it can be retrieved through a surgical procedure (i.e., TESE). The cryopreserved sperm can be thawed and used for creating embryos for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or invitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures without preventing future offspring.

Related Article – Egg Freezing – Rates Surge due to Coronavirus Lockdown

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What Does Egg Freezing Mean?

Egg freezing, or mature oocyte cryopreservation if you’re looking to expand your medical vocabulary, is a method in which eggs are harvested from the ovaries and frozen, unfertilised, and stored for later use. The practice seems more common now as technology has progressed, and as conversations about young women establishing themselves socially and professionally have become more mainstream.

But what does egg freezing entail? Who is it for? Would it be a good fit for you? It could be. Let’s look at some basic information about egg freezing to see if we can find out the answers to some of these questions.

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Why Should You Consider Freezing Your Eggs?

Conversations about young women freezing their eggs so they can start careers and establish themselves without worrying about having to have kids seem more common these days. And it’s true, not every woman wants to focus on starting a family during her prime childbearing years, even if she does intend to have children in the future. Then she can come back a few years later and have high-quality eggs to use to hopefully have a baby should she wish to.

Other common reasons women freeze their eggs include:

  • Preserving eggs if you’re facing possibly harmful treatments for serious illness, such as future cancer treatments
  • Genetic conditions that can cause ovarian failure
  • Medical conditions that might require future surgical intervention resulting in the removal of ovaries
  • Planning for a future surrogate situation if you won’t be able to carry a child because of the above reasons
  • Because of personal preference or religion, some people may be uncomfortable with freezing fertilised eggs, or the cryopreservation of embryos, but are ok with freezing components like sperm and eggs for later use

The decision to start a family is life-changing, full of anticipation and dreams.  As the premier boutique clinic in the Bay Area of San Francisco, we are dedicated to helping your family grow, offering a personalised care approach full of hope!

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Laurel Fertility Care offers a supportive and knowledgeable team to guide you when you are ready to pursue your dream of a family. To learn more about the preservation process, contact LFC.

For more useful ideas on how to protect and improve your fertility, download the FHH App.

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