Should You Freeze Your Eggs? 7 Facts to Consider

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There are as many different reasons for freezing eggs as there are people doing it, but it's important to truly evaluate the reasons for wanting to do it.

Choosing to postpone having children until older age is becoming more and more popular. Many women are waiting longer to settle down, focusing on their careers or educations, or just plain don't want to have children until they're older. One way to get peace of mind and ensure a better chance at becoming pregnant later in life is to freeze your eggs.

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Are You a Good Candidate?

“Who's not a good candidate?” asks Dr. Randall R. Odem, Division Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis. “We see all kinds of people now instead of just cancer patients. We do like to see candidates [ages] 34-36 but less than 38. We have had women older than that, but the older they are, the number and quality of their eggs goes down.”

Is It Safe?

Considering that sperm freezing has been around since the 1950s and embryonic freezing since the 1980s, egg freezing is relatively new. The process is still overcoming the classification of “experimental” by skeptics because lab tests involving mice showed higher incidences of chromosomal abnormalities in previously frozen eggs.

Egg freezing certainly is becoming more popular, though. “In the fall of 2012, it was actually deemed not experimental anymore, so now it's the acceptable standard of care,” said Dr. Odem. “People have really opened up to it. I now see a few a week instead of a year.”

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It's also notable that between being a relatively new process and the fact that most eggs haven't been used yet, there is limited data on how long eggs can be stored before they become less viable.

“The overwhelming majority of women haven't used the frozen eggs yet,” he said. “Most women won't even use them within five years. Thawing them out and using them is still new, and there's not enough data to really know how long these eggs can be kept frozen.”

 

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Should You Freeze Your Eggs? 7 Facts to Consider

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