Social freezing

Think about your fertility before it’s too late

Freezing of eggs (also known as cryopreservation of oocytes) represents a routine component of assisted reproduction techniques. It offers women a real chance to carry their own genetic child even at higher age. The procedure comprises eggs retrieval and their storage at the age of the woman when the high quality of oocytes can be still expected. This increases the chances of success if the woman decides to become pregnant at an older age. Indeed, the collected eggs do not age.

Why is it convenient to freeze eggs?

Fertility is a matter of age and age indeed plays a crucial role in women. Every girl is born with a certain number of eggs in her ovaries and this number steadily decreases during her life as the eggs gradually cease their existence. After the age of 30, this decline in the number of eggs may be so significant even in a healthy woman that it may endanger her fertility. It is a natural aging process.

The problem is that as the number of eggs decreases with age, so does their quality. This is caused by errors in the maturing of the egg as well as the incorrect amount of genetic information in the egg. Already about eight years before menopause (the last menstruation bleeding in a woman’s life), the quality of the eggs gives the woman only a minimal chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth spontaneously. And already at the age of 40, the chance of getting pregnant from one’s own eggs is relatively low. Also the success rate of assisted reproduction methods in this age group is somewhere between 15 – 17%.

We are currently witnessing a trend when women postpone their pregnancy to a higher age. Women want to be more prepared for motherhood. It is certainly wise to start a family with a suitable partner and at the right time, but one also needs to think about the risks of postponing pregnancy for too long. Social freezing – freezing and storing one’s own eggs for social, not medical reasons – represents some sort of “insurance policy” that when the woman decides to have a child sometimes in the future, it will not be too late.

  • Fertility is a matter of age and age indeed plays a crucial role in women.
  • The number of eggs decreases with age, so does their quality.
  • At the age of 40, the chance of getting pregnant from one’s own eggs is relatively low.

When is the best time to freeze eggs?

The best time for freezing eggs is before the age of 30. However, we generally accept the age of 35 as the limit for social freezing to be meaningful and reasonable. In the group of women between the ages of 35 and 38, the freezing of eggs is associated with a lower success rate of treatment, so we can no longer be so sure that such frozen eggs will help the woman fulfil the dream of her own child in the future. After the age of 38, we recommend careful individual evaluation of the decision to freeze one’s eggs.

There are also health indications under which eggs are frozen in much younger women. This concerns premature ovarian failure, cancer, or a more severe case of endometriosis.

 

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