If you’ve been following the news lately (and who can really blame you if you haven’t been in this current climate?) you’ve probably noticed that there has been a surge of interest in a relatively new procedure that allows young women to freeze their eggs. But why would women even want to do that? Because as women get older, their eggs do as well, leading women in their late 30s or 40s to have a decreased chance of conceiving or carrying a child to term.
Every young woman who thinks she might delay having children until she is older should at least be aware of the developing technologies of egg freezing. The fact is that until fairly recently, it was only men who could preserve their future fertility by freezing their sperm (specifically when facing radiation or other cancer-related treatments).Yet with the advent of promising new research, women may now be able to bear their own biological children through their 40s — by freezing their eggs while still in their 20s or early 30s.
Keep in mind, though, that if you are already married or in a committed relationship, but for whatever reason are not likely to attempt pregnancy for several years, you would be better off freezing embryos fertilized with your partner’s sperm, rather than just your eggs alone. This is because embryos still have a much higher pregnancy rate with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), and it has been proven completely safe through decades of healthy offspring.
Regardless, the decision to freeze your eggs or embryos is extremely personal and should not be taken lightly. Some of you may have religious or ethical reasons not to, while many medical facilities still consider such procedures only appropriate for women who have a medical need to take advantage of the technology. In addition, and like IVF, such a procedure is incredibly invasive, and it could be prohibitively expensive —upwards of $8-12,000 or so, not including the annual cost for storage. For most of you, this might be money you decide would be better spent adopting if you are unable to conceive, a decision that will forever enrich the life of a child in desperate need of loving parents and a forever home.