Does Freezing Affect Fertility? Here is the Answer
Egg freezing is a pretty good method of fertility preservation. But, it is a much better option for some women compared to others. Learn whether freezing your eggs is right for you.
Egg freezing has emerged as a pretty good method for women to help preserve their fertility. But there are tons of questions that you need to know before you decide whether egg freezing is for you.
The first concept that is essential to understand, egg freezing does not guarantee that you will be able to have a baby in the future.
Who are the women that are most likely to benefit from doing egg freezing?
Younger is better
Fact 1: The younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the greater the chances that you will be successful. Women who freeze their eggs in their early 20s have a much higher chance for success compared to women in their 30s or 40s.
More eggs is better
Fact 2: The more eggs you freeze, the better your chances of having a baby using those eggs. Let's say for example that you are between the ages of 30 and 34:
- If you freeze 8 eggs, you have about a 50/50 chance of having at least one baby.
- If you freeze 16 eggs, you have a 70% chance for having at least one baby.
- If you freeze 30 eggs, you have a 90% chance of having at least one baby.
Think about that for a second. For every 10 women aged 30 to 34, who freeze 30 eggs, on average, there will be one woman who does not end up having a baby using those eggs.
Age is still important, even if you freeze a lot of eggs. Let's look at one more example. Let's say you are between the ages of 38 and 40:
- If you freeze 8 eggs, instead of a 50% chance for one baby, you would have a 30% chance.
- For 16 eggs, your chances drop from 70% to 50%
- For those lucky women who freeze 30 eggs, the odds drop from 90% to 70%
Egg freezing may not be needed
Fact 3: For many women, freezing your eggs might not be necessary anyway. That’s right, you could still end up getting pregnant on your own. Here are some tips I give to women to help them decide whether to freeze eggs.
How long do you expect it will be between the time you freeze your eggs and the time you will use them? I know, this is really hard to predict but its an important factor. Let's say you are 25 when you freeze your eggs but you are going to attempt pregnancy when you are 26, 1 year later.
In this example, it is very unlikely that egg freezing will have improved your chances for having a baby.
But if you don’t attempt pregnancy until you are 45, then there is an enormous benefit to having frozen your eggs at age 25.
Are you expecting something is going to happen that might damage your fertility? For example, have you been diagnosed with cancer and you have to undergo chemotherapy, which could destroy your eggs? Egg freezing may offer a way to improve your odds.
Do you have to have surgery on your ovaries for any reason? Are you in the military and therefore at risk for injury that could result in loss of your fertility? Any of these are reasons to consider egg freezing.
Most women are happy to freeze their eggs
Fact 4: Most women are pretty happy with their decision to freeze eggs. In one survey of 224 egg-freezing patients, 60% reported feeling less time pressure while dating.
One-quarter said they felt “more relaxed, focused, less desperate and with more time to find the right partner.”
A whopping 96% would recommend egg freezing to others.
Another survey of 200 women found that 89% were satisfied with their decision to freeze, even if they never used their eggs.
Our bottom line is this:
Educate yourself about egg freezing. It can really increase the chances for some women to have a baby. But for others, it may reduce the stress associated with always thinking about your biologic clock.
Egg freezing is one method for fertility preservation. Another is embryo freezing.