When you still have eggs! But more scientifically, before your 35th birthday for best chance of pregnancy success.
Social egg freezing, which is elective egg freezing for a nonmedical reason, has become very popular in the media. With all the attention, many patients are asking me and my colleagues when is the best time for them to cryopreserve their eggs for a pregnancy down the road.
“When you still have them!” is my fun answer, because women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, and that store of eggs begins depleting from the minute they are born. But I do offer another answer based on recent studies, like the one from the journal Fertility and Sterility.
- Women younger than 35 when they freeze their eggs have the best chance at pregnancy success. If you’re looking for the best odds, then do it before then.
- The ideal cost/benefit balance of egg freezing is for women who freeze their eggs at age 37 but do not plan to attempt pregnancy until after age 41.
- For some women, freezing their eggs anytime before 40 years old is possibly the only way to have a child with her genes – particularly if they are going wait to try to conceive until in their 40s.
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The social egg freezing process
The egg freezing process requires two weeks of intensive medicine and visits to the doctor. However, you can continue your daily work with a few modifications. This may require taking time off for 4-6 appointments over two weeks. This also may require less physical activity including jumping, bouncing, bending and pushing.
If you have a desk job, you will find you can undergo an egg freezing cycle with only one day off work. The medicines may make you tired and bloated but do not cause permanent weight gain or increase your risk of cancer. The egg retrieval process is an outpatient procedure where you will be asleep and have no cuts or incisions.
Egg cryopreservation for the best chance of pregnancy
Your eggs can be stored for years without harm, so long as the liquid nitrogen is kept full in the tank. At some point in the future when you are ready to use them, they can be thawed and fertilized with sperm through ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) and used to create embryos.
Success rates are comparable to in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates from the age you were when you froze the eggs. Ninety percent (90%) of eggs are expected to survive the thawing process. Testing of the embryos can be done before transfer if desired.
It turns out it is easier and less expensive than most people think to preserve their fertility. While there is not a guarantee of a baby at the end of the process, it is a valuable tool in our armamentarium (the medicines, equipment and techniques doctors have) to help women and couples create the family they have dreamed of.
Get our Fertility Check before social egg freezing
Ask us at RSC about how you can test your fertility status through our Fertility Check, which involves a blood test to evaluate levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. Set up an appointment with one of our doctors or advanced care provider to discuss the ideal number of eggs needed to give you the optimal chances.
RSC financial counselors can give you a detailed estimate of the costs and help you explore creative ways to finance the treatment.