Protect Your Present and Future – Freeze Your Eggs
Or: it’s a word that often means compromising – you can have this or that. Learning to compromise is an important part of interacting with people… but when it comes to your future, do you really want to compromise?
Gone are the days when women had to choose between having a family and succeeding in the workplace, pursuing advanced degrees, or waiting for the right romantic partner. Your life is no longer an either/or situation, especially if you consider freezing your eggs. More women than ever are freezing eggs, and there are many reasons why.
Maybe you are on the path to becoming a doctor – you will be 28 or older by the time you finish training. Will you be able to meet your life partner while doing 36-hour shifts? Maybe, maybe not. You certainly would have a hard time caring for an infant or child while working those hours.
Or, perhaps you want to be a lawyer. Again, three years and untold hours of studying, followed by potentially grueling hours to make partner at a firm, leaves little time for little else.
Perhaps you’re starting your own business. That’s quick and easy, right? (Hint: It’s not!)
Or you could be suiting up for battle against a medical issue like cancer, requiring medicine that could harm your reproductive capabilities.
Should any of these examples mean you have to choose between following your path and becoming a mom someday? No! You are strong, capable, and can say “no” to either/or, and “yes” to and.
You can live your dreams and still plan for a family later.
If you are thinking about freezing your eggs, it’s wise to complete the procedure by the time you are in your early- to mid-30s. This is because you have more eggs when you’re younger, and the eggs are healthier. By age 40, a woman’s chance of getting pregnant with her own eggs drops to less than 10 percent.
Freezing your eggs can give you peace of mind, but like many things worth doing, the process does take a bit of effort.
After meeting with a reproductive specialist, prepare to become intimately acquainted with your reproductive system. You will do hormone checks and get an ultrasound to check your ovarian reserve. Then you will need to put aside any qualms about needles, as you will need to inject medications that stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs, medications to prevent the ovaries from releasing the eggs too soon, and then more medications to trigger your body to release them at the right time. The doctor collects the eggs while you are under anesthesia. Women generally produce between 10 and 20 eggs per cycle, but each person is different.
Once the eggs are retrieved, they will be frozen and stored. Clinics that flash-freeze eggs using vitrification are utilizing the most technologically advanced process. Vitrification allows the eggs to reach sub-zero temperatures so quickly that ice crystals don’t form in the eggs’ cellular structures, meaning they have a better chance of thawing without damage.
When exploring your fertility options, one must of course take the financial aspect into consideration. The process of freezing your eggs is almost identical to going through in vitro fertilization, except that you hit “pause” part way through and start again later. Thus, the costs associated with freezing your eggs are similar to undergoing IVF. In fact, one study showed that freezing eggs at age 35 for later use was less expensive in the long run than waiting and doing IVF at age 40.
Right now, the idea of starting a family may be a “someday dream.” Until then, keep doing all the amazing things you do that will inspire your children down the line.