There are many valid reasons to delay pregnancy. You may be more interested in focusing on your career or can’t afford to support a child right now. Perhaps you’re not in a suitable relationship or are simply not emotionally ready. No matter the reason, only you can determine the ‘best time’ to start your family.
At the same time, your body operates on its own biological clock, with a timeline most likely incompatible with your life. Regardless of how healthy you are, your biological clock dictates that as you age your eggs become older and less effective. Egg freezing is a way to bridge the gap between your biological timeline and your life plans.
With our egg freezing technologies at your fingertips, you can feel empowered knowing that you have the final say over your biological clock.
Generally speaking, egg freezing is suggested for women:
- Seeking to preserve eggs to extend their fertility in the future
- Between ages 25 and 37
- Who aren’t ready to have children right now
- With a family history of early menopause
- Facing medical treatments like chemotherapy
- Wishing to delay having another child
- Looking to overcome complications associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- With certain medical conditions such as ovarian cysts
Age & Fertility
Female fertility begins to decline in a woman’s late twenties, and the continued loss of eggs associated with this decline results in increased rates of miscarriage, chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities, and infertility (especially for women older than thirty-five). Egg freezing affords a woman the opportunity to use ‘younger’ eggs whenever she decides she would like to become pregnant. This allows her to avoid the decreased fertility and increased miscarriage rates associated with advanced age.
Because of this, as a general rule of thumb, earlier is better when it comes to selecting a time to freeze your eggs. Younger eggs offer better chances of a successful pregnancy, no matter when you decide to use the eggs.
- Optimum egg freezing age is 25-37 when you have the highest ovarian reserve
- Your ovaries age with you and your number of usable eggs declines
- Your uterus remains healthy and able to support the pregnancy until about age 50
- You lock in your chance of a successful future pregnancy at the age your eggs are retrieved; if you freeze your eggs at age 28 and use them at age 39, your success rate is that of a 28-year old
- Egg freezing after age 37 is still an option, but you may need multiple IVF cycles to get the recommended number of eggs
As is true of many other reproductive options that offer a woman increased agency in her future, there is just as much fiction floating around about egg freezing as there are facts. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the facts so that you can feel confident discussing your reproductive health and fertility options.
Egg Freezing Fact
Female fertility begins to decline around age thirty, as does egg quantity AND quality. These factors decrease significantly after age thirty-five. That’s why it is so beneficial to preserve your youngest eggs. You are born with almost four million eggs. By the time you’ve reached puberty, it drops to 400,000 and you lose about 1,000 eggs with every menstrual cycle. By age thirty, women have just under 100,000 eggs remaining. By forty, that number is close to zero.
By the time a woman reaches menopause (around forty-five), she will have barely any healthy egg-producing follicles remaining. And if any follicles do remain, they are usually unable to reach full maturation due to natural hormonal changes, which negatively affect their growth.
The younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the better the chances of a successful pregnancy later. The success rate for IVF with frozen eggs is based on when the eggs are harvested, not when they’re implanted. So if you freeze your eggs when you’re thirty and don’t use them until you’re forty, you will have essentially frozen the process in time. You’ll have the same chance of a successful pregnancy as when you were thirty. We typically advise against freezing your eggs over the age of forty.
A complete egg freezing cycle takes just two weeks, during which you can maintain your regular schedule: Most women are fully functional and able to carry on with their daily routines, whether that involves work, exercise, or other activities. The only changes in routine include light medications and a few office visits. The egg-retrieval procedure usually takes about twenty minutes and you can return to work the next day.
There is no limit to the length of time eggs can be frozen. Eggs can be frozen today and will remain frozen and stable indefinitely with no decrease in quality over time. We encourage patients to first try to conceive naturally and only use their frozen eggs if they’re unsuccessful. Or even to save them for a second or third child. In essence, freezing your eggs should be considered a terrific ‘backup plan.’
Vitrification is the most advanced technique for freezing eggs: The first baby born from a frozen egg occurred decades ago in 1986. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has concluded that egg freezing is a successful technique with outcomes comparable to standard IVF cycles. Egg freezing is NOT considered experimental and is now widely utilized by women as a viable option to preserve their fertility. Vitrification or flash freezing is a newer and more effective method of freezing than cryopreservation. Upon thawing, the eggs have about the same chance of success as a fresh IVF cycle.
Throughout the two-week egg-freezing process, you can maintain your regular schedule. You will need to come in for 3 to 5 brief office visits in order to monitor your progress and determine the best time for egg retrieval.
The egg retrieval process involves minimal discomfort. The entire procedure takes about twenty minutes and is done under light anesthesia. You may go back to work the next day.
Is Egg Freezing Helpful For Women Facing Cancer Treatment?
Women with cancer whose ovaries face the possibility of damage through chemotherapy or radiation therapy are excellent candidates for our Fast Track program. The program works just as its name implies: as soon as your next menstrual cycle begins, we can start the two-week egg freezing process at a significant fee reduction.
Is There A ‘Best Age’ To Freeze My Eggs?
Keep this in mind through your family-planning process: the younger you are at the time of freezing, the greater your potential for a healthy child. In other words, the health of your baby reflects the age of the egg at the time it is frozen. Because of this, we recommend egg freezing for women between ages twenty-five and thirty-seven.
After age thirty-seven, it is still possible to freeze eggs, but the process will likely be more time-consuming. Because the quality and quantity of your eggs decline rapidly after age thirty-five, it will likely take multiple cycles to harvest an adequate supply of mature, healthy eggs.
Can I Become Successfully Pregnancy With Frozen Eggs?
Your chances of becoming pregnant with frozen eggs are typically the same as your chances of becoming pregnant with fresh eggs and IVF. Age is always a factor in potential fertility success, but if you freeze your eggs at age twenty-five and decide to use them at age thirty-five, your chance of a successful pregnancy is the same as when you were twenty-five, provided the staff and facility where your eggs are harvested and stored is optimal.
How Many Eggs Should I Freeze?
In order to open the door for more than one child and multiple attempts at pregnancy in the future, we typically recommend freezing twenty mature eggs. Because of not every harvested egg results in a pregnancy, it’s crucial to freeze a substantial number of eggs.
Will All My Eggs Be Used At Once?
The process of using, or unfreezing, your frozen eggs is called an egg thaw cycle. In order to develop the healthiest, strongest embryo, we thaw six to eight eggs at a time, in batches. It is possible that you could have multiple attempts at pregnancy with each batch, depending upon how many eggs from each batch fertilize successfully.
How Long Is The Entire Freezing Process?
Beginning with Day 1 of your period, an egg freezing cycle lasts two weeks. You can maintain your regular schedule throughout the process, with the addition of taking light medication and three to five brief office visits for monitoring. Your egg retrieval procedure is the only day you may have to alter your regular routine. The procedure takes about twenty minutes under light anesthesia and with minimal discomfort. You may return to work within 24 hours.
Can I Freeze My Eggs If I’M 40 Or Older?
In order to set yourself up for the best chance of successful future pregnancies, we strongly suggest freezing your eggs as early as possible. Unfortunately, this means that we advise against freezing your eggs after age forty.
Choosing NewLife Fertility
NewLife Fertility has been freezing eggs using vitrification technology since 2004, performing hundreds of cycles each year, giving us substantial experience with the process. Furthermore, enough time has elapsed to allow the accumulation of data for pregnancy outcomes in women returning to use their frozen eggs.
We offer the following benefits to egg-freezing patients:
- Thawing frozen eggs is an incredibly important aspect of the egg freezing program, as this is a very sensitive technique that can decrease your chances of conception if the right practitioner is not performing the thaw. NewLife Fertility, we have a depth and breadth of experience with thawing that is unparalleled.
- We are the only fertility practice in the country to offer financing programs for elective egg freezing.
- We designed a streamlined process to simplify your experience while maintaining the highest levels of quality.
- Flexible appointment times are available.
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