Egg freezing for medical reasons has been around for decades. In 2012, egg freezing was declared to no longer be an experimental procedure, making it available to women who don’t have a medical reason for it. More and more women find themselves in a situation where freezing their eggs makes sense. Most are professional women who live in major cities and are hoping to beat the biological clock.
The process is now being marketed widely for those 30-somethings who cannot find the right person – the main reason women give to freeze eggs. Shady Grove Fertility Center in Washington, DC offers “Wine and Freeze” nights to promote their services to prospective patients. FertilityIQ is an online database of fertility doctors and patient reviews, with about 200 women so far providing reviews of their experiences.
Egg freezing is a complicated and expensive process. Women inject themselves with hormones to stimulate egg release from the ovaries, then they are surgically retrieved. Doctors recommend freezing 15 to 20 eggs, and one round averages $12,000. Insurance does not cover the procedure, yet companies like Intel, Apple, and Facebook offer to pay the costs of egg freezing for their employees.
The older a woman is when the eggs are retrieved, the lower the chances of success. It is important that this fact be disclosed. Very few women who have frozen their eggs since 2012 have tried to use them. The rate of live births resulting from frozen eggs remains consistently low, about 20-24% since 2009.
Women who freeze their eggs can feel empowered by the procedure. It gives them peace of mind, a sense of relief, and takes the pressure off of finding “Mr. Right”, giving a little more time.
Barclay, Eliza. “More Women Are Freezing Their Eggs, But Will They Ever Use Them?” Health Shots. NPR, 24 Nov 2015. Web. 24 Nov 2015.