By Noreen Butler, the Founder of Carpool Fitness and Director of Business Development for Frozen Egg Bank Network
Many women would like to wait to have a family until they are older and more financially stable; however, the reality of waiting means not only are your eggs older, but it becomes more difficult for you to get pregnant and increases the risk of birth defects. One option to consider is freezing your eggs.
Just a few years ago, the biological clock ruined many women’s chances to have a family on the timeline they preferred. Fortunately, with the option of egg freezing, women can take charge of their ability to have a family when they are ready – not just when the clock dictates.
Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, but as they age these eggs decrease in quantity and quality. Egg viability diminishes quickly, and women aged 40 – 45 only have approximately a 35% chance of conceiving naturally. After 45, this number drops down to 8%.
Egg Freezing Facts
The scientific term for egg freezing is oocyte cryopreservation. For over 20 years, cryopreservation of embryos has been a viable option, and thousands of perfectly healthy babies have been born globally. Initially, however, the egg freezing process was not very successful compared with the freezing of embryos. But with the help of modern technology, egg freezing is a viable option for women today.
Ultimately, the best time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s and 30s. After your mid-thirties, the egg quality declines rapidly and decreases the chance of a healthy live birth.
In order to remove eggs for freezing, a woman normally undergoes hormonal stimulation for 10-12 days, according to IVF Australia. This triggers six or more eggs to mature. Patients discuss with their doctor what type of hormonal stimulation they will proceed with.
The stimulation medications are a daily injection using a small pen-like device with a needle; you will be taught how to do this yourself.
You may feel a little bloated, but there are no physical restrictions and you should be able to carry out your day normally during the course of your stimulation.
When it’s time to gather the eggs, they are collected from the ovaries using an ultrasound-guided probe that’s inserted into the vagina. A thin needle then gently travels through the wall of each ovary, allowing the doctors to retrieve the eggs. Sedation or a general anesthetic is used. The retrieval is an outpatient procedure; however, you should not drive following the procedure and rest is recommended for the remainder of the day.
In the laboratory, the eggs undergo vitrification – the flash freezing of the eggs. This process extracts fluid from the eggs to prevent ice formation or freezer burn, which in turn decreases viability. After this process is complete, the eggs can be stored for many years.
The cost of egg freezing varies, but you can expect to pay around $10,000 for the egg freezing cycle, an additional $1,000 for medication on the day of surgery, and $500 per year for storage, just to give you an idea.
For many women, the option of egg freezing gives them control of their fertility and family. A certain peace of mind comes from knowing they can have children when they are ready, and not have to worry about Mother Nature stealing this dream away.
It’s a personal decision that can literally change your world for the better.
Momtrepreneur, fitness guru, and innovator, Noreen is the Founder of Carpool Fitness and Director of Business Development for Frozen Egg Bank Network. She has experienced firsthand the challenges faced by momtrepreneurs, and is committed to share true stories about real women to inspire, educate, and empower female entrepreneurs nationwide. She strives to educate women about the need to become aware of their fertility potential at a young age in order to help them take control of their biological clock.