More and more women are choosing to have babies in later life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 20% of women in the US are now choosing to have their first child after 35.
Thankfully, with the help of technology and science, women now have more options and freedom for choosing when to head into motherhood, meaning they can create the life they want in the order they want. Millions of career-driven women are choosing to freeze their eggs to focus on work and other priorities, with the intention to have children in later life.
If you find yourself struggling with fertility, or considering prolonging your chances of conceiving, here’s everything you need to know about freezing your eggs.
Timing does matter
While there’s no real ‘ideal’ age for freezing your eggs, time can make a difference. Reproductive specialists and fertility experts such as MCRM Fertility recommend freezing your eggs in your late 20s/early 30s for the best chances.
Determining the ideal time is different from woman to woman. It all comes down to your own fertility, medical history, and readiness. If you’re considering the procedure, it’s worth getting a fertility test in your early 30s to see whether or not you can delay further.
There are no guarantees
Of course, there are plenty of success stories for egg freezing, but there isn’t a necessary guarantee that the egg will take for future pregnancy, and success does often factor in your age.
It’s a good idea for women suffering from health issues
Certain health issues like cancer could make egg freezing a really viable option. Preserving the eggs before chemotherapy may help keep them intact, as the treatment can often be toxic to the ovaries. Chemotherapy in certain forms can also lead to premature menopause, so egg freezing may be something to consider seriously.
It’s not cheap
There’s no denying that the procedure is expensive. Progressive companies sometimes offer egg freezing in their health insurance plans, but this is something women will need to look into at their own places of work. Most, unfortunately, do not cover the elective treatment.
If you have to pay out of pocket, you could be looking at upward of $10,000. This would include the procedure, as well as medications and freezing. Storage can also be charged on a yearly basis.
It can be done within two weeks
It might come as a surprise to know that after the initial visit and egg reserve check, the procedure may only take a fortnight of medicated injections (which you’ll have to do yourself), ultrasounds, and bloodwork. The egg retrieval procedure only takes around 10 minutes under sedation.
During the two weeks of injections, you may experience a lot of side effects. These can include bloating, nausea, and headaches – all the good stuff. However, most of these side effects are minor. Most women experience a little cramping after the procedure too, but are more than well enough to get back to work the following day.
You can store them for 10 years
After the procedure is successful, you’re free to take your time in making a decision about motherhood. Eggs can typically be stored for up to 10 years – giving you plenty of time to consider all your options and find the time that’s right for you.