To Freeze Or Not to Freeze
In recent years, egg freezing has become very popular. The procedure preserves a woman’s eggs for the future, meaning women can carry or birth a child later in life. The scientific name for egg freezing is mature oocyte cryopreservation. The process is extensive and involves different treatments and steps.
What makes a woman consider egg freezing?
A woman decides to freeze the eggs for a variety of reasons. Some of these can include:
- Age: fertility declines after age 35, so a woman that freezes eggs while young preserves the eggs for future use.
- Timing: a woman may be interested in having kids later in life.
- Medical conditions: cancer, lupus, and sickle cell anemia make conception and pregnancy difficult.
- Gender: intersex or transgender people may decide to freeze eggs
What’s the difference between in vitro fertilization and egg freezing?
With in vitro fertilization (IVF), an egg is extracted from the body and artificially inseminated by sperm. Then the embryo is implanted in the uterus to grow. This procedure is common with couples struggling to conceive naturally. The difference between IVF and egg freezing is fertilization. During mature oocyte cryopreservation, eggs do not get fertilized. Unfertilized eggs are placed in cryochambers to remain frozen until the owner is ready to use the eggs. During the IVF process, doctors freeze some of the patient’s eggs to use during each trial insemination.
Often, single women opt for egg freezing because these women do not currently have a partner to inseminate the egg. Once these women decide to get pregnant, the doctor will collect sperm from a donor or the person’s partner to fertilize the egg.
Why should I freeze my eggs?
Patients should consider egg freezing if age, timing, medical conditions, or gender are an issue. Biologically, conceiving a healthy child becomes harder for women as time progresses. Egg freezing can help create more ease of mind for women. Patients interested in the procedure should schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional to discuss benefits and options for egg freezing.