Fertility preservation: How egg freezing can help women achieve their reproductive goal
Think you want to start a family, but not ready to be a mother yet? Find out how egg freezing can give you more options while meeting your reproductive goal.
Egg freezing first started in the US (the first baby was born from a frozen egg in 1986) and has spread worldwide. Through this fertility preservation procedure, women are able to reproduce at much later ages, and after having treatments which might impact their fertility (such as treatments for cancer).
Read on to learn all about egg freezing and and how the process can help you reach your reproductive goal.
What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing is a medical process in which a woman’s eggs are extracted, preserved and saved for the future. This fertility preservation is extremely well-known in the United States.
These days many women tend to conceive in their late 30s or 40s. This can be down to make different reasons, including building their career, not being ready to settle down and strat a family earlier, .or not meeting a partner until later.
However, the success of conception rates is lower at this time. So many women today choose to freeze their eggs when they are younger. This can help them to achieve their reproductive goals when they want to, rather than be restricted by their own fertility rates and peri-menopause.
When a woman is ready to conceive, their frozen eggs are fertilized in the laboratory to develop them into embryos, which are then implanted into her uterus.
Why you might choose egg freezing
There are several reasons why egg freezing is often a good choice for women who wish to conceive later on in their life. Here are some of the biggest.
Your supply of eggs is limited
Every woman has a limited supply of eggs. When a girl is born, she has a set amount of eggs that wait to be fertilized every month (when she ovulates), which continues until menopause.
A woman’s peak window for conception is in her 20s. This rate declines by 15% by the age of 30. And it continues to reduce into and through the 40s and 50s until, finally, menopause happens.
This can lead to a lack of eggs later in a woman’s life. To solve the issue, egg freezing is used by many women. This fertility preservation method ensures the woman can potentially have biological children at a later age if she wishes, even if her egg supply has dwindled.
The quality of eggs diminishes with age
With age, the woman’s quality of eggs reduces. As the concentration of chromosomes in her ovaries decreases, their quality lowers. By the age of 35, a woman’s egg quality has reduced by half. As a result, almost half of the eggs cannot make babies. This number further increases by the age of 40.
Frozen eggs remain at the same quality as when they were extracted and frozen. This means that a woman can use eggs from the younger ‘her’ at an older age. It’s also why it is recommended to opt for egg freezing as early as possible, if this is something you are considering. The earlier you do it, the more quality eggs you are likely to have in the future.
You can live the lifestyle you wish
When a woman opts for egg freezing, it gives her the freedom to live the life she wants now, and worry about conceiving later. She can pursue her career ambitions, and choose the lifestyle she wishes. Motherhood doesn’t have to be a consideration if she’d not ready at that point in her life.
When she feels it’s the right time for motherhood, she can then review her options, knowing she has a store of frozen eggs waiting for her.
No worries your biological clock ticking away
For many women once they reach their 30s, the sound of their biological clock ticking down gets louder and louder. This pressure can determine many choices she makes, not least the partner she decides to start a family with.
Many women believe they need to find ‘the one’ by their mid-30s if they are ever going to have a family. And sometimes this can lead women to settling down with a partner they may not have otherwise chosen; feelings they do’t have the luxury of waiting for someone else to come along.
Egg freezing can take away this pressure. With her eggs safely frozen, a woman doesn’t need to feel as pressured by biology if she’s not ready, or in the right place in her life for a family. Egg freezing buys her more time to wait until she’s ready and has met a partner she wants to start a family with. It also enables her to become a solo parent if she wishes.
Egg freezing gives women choices
Becoming a mother is a big step, and one that should be taken when the time is right. But age and biology and age do not wait. Conceiving can be tougher when your eggs are limited and their quality lowers.
To buy yourself more time and options, you might choose instead to freeze your eggs. This enables you to have more choices over when you become a mother, and who you decide to parent with (if anyone).