Every woman is born with a finite number of eggs. In addition, the number and quality of eggs decrease with age, affecting fertility. So thinking about the biological clock ticking can be a source of angst, not just because your family members believe that.
There are many reasons a woman in her early 30s or even her late 20s might be thinking about getting eggs frozen. For example, they might be waiting for the right partner or coordinating their career planning with family planning and aren’t ready for a child.
For most young women, egg freezing can considerably improve their chances of having a biological child in the future. But, if you’re one of those women considering it, you may be wondering if it’s worth the price.
Freezing Eggs — What Is It and Is It Worth It?
Nowadays, many people decide not to have children, but the good thing with this procedure is that you can change your mind in the future and have a biological child.
However, before going on this road, you should know what egg freezing can do for you, what the process entails, your options, risks, and costs of the procedure. Egg freezing has been a good option for many, but it’s still not a decision to make lightly.
What does freezing your eggs mean?
This process, also called mature oocyte cryopreservation, is essentially in vitro fertilization without getting an embryo implanted. The egg harvesting process includes harvesting eggs from your ovaries, then freezing them until you decide to get pregnant.
To retrieve your eggs, you first need to undergo about ten days of hormone injections. The hormones are fertility drugs that stimulate your ovaries into producing extra eggs.
It’s a process that includes a doctor burrowing in your vaginal wall to remove the frazzled cells. The surgical aspect of egg harvesting, like IVF, carries inherent risks. We must admit that it’s challenging to go through this process.
How does egg retrieval work?
Your doctor will do the egg retrieval under sedation in a clinic. The doctors insert an ultrasound probe into the vagina to identify the follicles.
The approach is called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. There’s a suction device connected to a needle used to remove the eggs from the follicle. The doctors can collect multiple mature eggs. The more eggs retrieved, the better the chances of pregnancy.
The retrieved eggs are flash-frozen and kept at cold temperatures. Then, when the woman is ready to get pregnant, the eggs are defrosted and combined with sperm. If any embryos develop, the doctors will transfer them to the uterus for implantation.
After the egg retrieval process, you might have cramping. Pressure or feelings of fullness might last for a few weeks because your ovaries will remain enlarged.
Is it worth it to freeze your eggs?
The procedure doesn’t guarantee a future pregnancy. Whether the procedure will succeed or not would be determined by the age at the time you did it, and the time you wait before attempting to get pregnant.
In general, the younger the woman is when she freezes her eggs, the more viable they are thought to be. Whether the pregnancy will be a success or not, the mother should get the needed support.
Egg Freezing Process — When to Do It and Are There Any Side Effects?
It’s challenging to decide when to freeze your eggs since many factors need to be considered. Is it worth freezing eggs at 39? Continue reading to find out.
Egg freezing age limit
It is difficult to determine the best age to freeze your eggs. The younger you are when you do the procedure, the bigger your chances are. Early to mid-30s is the best period. You may need multiple cycles to get a sufficient number of eggs to cryopreserve at this age.
A 2015 study found that the optimal age range is between ages 30 and 34 and between 25 and 30. So we can say that freezing eggs at 40 is maybe the age limit. Even if you don’t find a partner by the time you get pregnant, don’t worry about your dating life. Now, dating is easier for single parents than it’s ever been before.
Egg Freezing Side Effects
After freezing eggs, women may experience different symptoms. For example, some women may feel energized, while others may feel lethargic. Some may sleep a lot, while others may have trouble sleeping. Other side effects include:
- Injection site soreness
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
In rare cases, the injections can lead to a condition known as hyperstimulation syndrome, when the ovaries become painful and swell. The syndrome symptoms include fast significant weight gain, pain, and nausea. In addition, on rare occasions, HSS may trigger shortness of breath and blood clots.
Women who need to postpone pregnancy have another option with frozen eggs. While the procedure doesn’t guarantee a baby, it improves the odds of conception for people in their late 30s or 40s. It’s generally safe, but there are risks, as with any medical procedure. Take your time researching your options before deciding to freeze your eggs.
What is the best age to freeze your eggs?
As we mentioned earlier, there isn’t a perfect age for doing the procedure. However, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) states that it’s best to freeze your eggs before you turn 35 years while having a higher number of healthy eggs in your ovaries.
Can I freeze my eggs at 18?
You can do the procedure any time during your fertile years, but as expected, the earlier you do it, the better. Freezing eggs at 18 or in your 20s may seem young, but it gives you the best chance of success.
How much does freezing your eggs cost?
Most insurance plans don’t cover this procedure. Patients undergoing egg freezing will typically spend between $30,000 and $40,000 on treatment and storage. A single cycle can cost well over $10,000. When you add other necessary expenses like IVF and egg storage, the price goes between $15,000 to $20,000.
On average, the number of cycles that women need to go through is 2. In addition, egg storage is indefinite – the woman may not need the eggs for ten years. As a result, ongoing egg storage costs will continue to rise.
If you freeze your eggs can you still get pregnant?
Depending on your age when you freeze your eggs, your chances of becoming pregnant after implantation range from 30% to 60%. So the older you are when you freeze your eggs, the less likely you’ll have a birth in the future.
Is getting your eggs frozen painful?
The procedure itself should be relatively painless. You won’t feel anything because it’s done under sedation. However, when you’re conscious, there may be some discomfort and bleeding from your vaginal wall — from where the retrieval needle passed through.