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Top Reasons Women Choose Egg Freezing

Women who choose the RMA Long Island IVF Elective Egg Freezing Program or others like it worldwide are driven to the empowering procedure by a variety of social, medical, and other reasons.

What is egg freezing?

In a nutshell, a woman’s fertility decreases over time as she ages–something commonly referred to as her “biological clock”. The amount and quality of a woman’s eggs gradually decreases over time as she heads toward menopause and this progression negatively impacts her ability to conceive using her own eggs. Because of this, many women who have delayed family-building until their late 30s or 40s have historically needed to use donor eggs from another woman in order to get pregnant—a practice that is still very popular and successful. Young, healthy donor eggs enable older women (as well as younger women whose eggs are not healthy) to conceive.

With the advent of egg freezing technology, women can preserve eggs for their future use. Egg freezing allows women to freeze their own young eggs and “bank” them for their own future use if needed–effectively stalling their biological clock from ticking.

So, a woman who freezes her eggs at 34 but doesn’t pursue family-building until she is 44 will statistically have much higher odds of successfully conceiving with her frozen eggs than her own, now-older remaining eggs, if any. Using her own previously-frozen eggs in such a case increases the chances for the woman to not only have a child that is biologically her own, but to do so at significant savings over using donor eggs. Egg freezing is proactive for women who want to or need to delay family building. Of course, no one can guarantee that the frozen eggs will result in a future pregnancy as there are numerous intervening factors that impact a successful conception and pregnancy, including the health of the two partners and their respective eggs and sperm.

Why do women freeze their eggs?

A recent study indicated that the top reason women freeze their eggs is not what many might think.

Reportedly, the largest study to date of women who completed at least one elective egg freezing cycle for “social” reasons (rather than medical reasons) dispels the popular misconception that women who undergo elective egg freezing do so for educational or career reasons.

The study, reportedly not yet published, was presented on July 2, 2018 at the 34th Annual meeting of The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (“ESHRE”) Conference in Barcelona, Spain, by one of the study’s authors. The study was comprised of mostly heterosexual women from various fertility practices in America and Israel who fell into one of ten (10) “pathways” or life circumstances that led them to undergo elective egg freezing.

Six of the ten (10) pathways were related to the 85% of single women participants who were without partners at the time of their egg freezing due to either being:

  • single
  • divorced or divorcing
  • recently broken up
  • working/stationed overseas
  • a single mother
  • involved in career planning.

The remaining 15% of study participants were in relationships with partners at the time they underwent elective egg freezing. These women represented the four (4) remaining pathways:

  • had a male partner not ready for children
  • had a male partner refusing to have children
  • had a male partner involved with multiple partners
  • in a relationship too new or uncertain for children.

Of all the pathways, pursuing elective egg freezing for career planning reasons was by far the least common reason—with only two of the study’s 150 participants reportedly citing that as their primary reason.

Many women who freeze their eggs do so in their mid- to late-30s, often at a time when career or educational goals have already been met, according to the study. Accordingly, the primary social reason that women undergo elective egg freezing is not that it’s a bad time for a baby due to career planning, but rather that it’s a bad time to have a baby because they haven’t found the right partner. That reason—partnership problems– can span all 10 pathways whether women were or were not with partners at the time they chose to freeze their eggs.

Social reasons are not the only factors impacting women’s egg freezing choice. There are often medical reasons to electively freeze eggs. Perhaps the most common medical reason is fertility preservation. Often, certain cancer treatments can negatively impact or destroy a woman’s eggs. If it’s advisable to do so, a woman may be able to undergo elective egg freezing prior to cancer treatment. Her young and potentially healthy eggs will then be waiting for her when her cancer battle is over. There are also other medical conditions, such as endometriosis, that may make elective egg freezing attractive as well.

Finally, elective egg freezing might be desirable for women who have religious or moral objections to storing frozen embryos (fertilized eggs), but not unfertilized eggs.

There are many benefits to egg freezing including replacing fear and anxiety with empowerment and security.  Women who freeze their eggs may be less likely to engage in “panicked parenting”–having a baby at the wrong time with the wrong partner as their biological clock winds down.

No one can buy time, but egg freezing may be the closest thing to doing just that. If you would like more information on the RMA Long Island IVF Elective Egg Freezing Program, including information about how you may be able to undergo elective egg freezing for yourself at no cost while being an egg donor for someone else, contact us today.

 

Sources: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/health/freezing-eggs-women.html

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180702/Lack-of-stable-partner-is-major-reason-for-women-freezing-their-eggs-shows-study.aspx