Is it worth freezing eggs at 39? Fact-checking the hype.

As a woman approaches her late 30s, she may begin to worry about her fertility and the potential difficulty of conceiving a child later in life. With the advancements in science and technology, many women have turned to egg freezing as a way to preserve their fertility for future conception. Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a process where a woman’s eggs are extracted, frozen, and stored for later use. However, there is a lot of hype and misinformation surrounding egg freezing, making it difficult to determine if it is a worthwhile option for a woman approaching 40. In this article, we will fact-check the hype surrounding egg freezing at 39 and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is a fertility preservation technique that involves extracting a woman’s eggs, freezing them, and storing them for future use. The process starts with a woman undergoing ovarian stimulation, where she takes hormone medication to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. These eggs are then retrieved through a minor surgical procedure and flash-frozen using a technique called vitrification. The frozen eggs are then stored in liquid nitrogen until they are ready to be used in the future.

What are the benefits of egg freezing at 39?

Women in their late 30s may be experiencing a decline in their ovarian reserve, meaning their ovaries may not produce as many high-quality eggs as they did in their 20s or early 30s. By freezing eggs at 39, a woman can preserve her eggs and increase her chances of conceiving in the future. Additionally, egg freezing can give women more control over their fertility, allowing them to focus on career goals or other life priorities without worrying about declining fertility.

What are the risks of egg freezing at 39?

One of the main risks of egg freezing is that it is not a guaranteed method for future conception. Just because a woman freezes her eggs does not mean that she will be able to conceive in the future. Additionally, the process of egg freezing can be expensive, with some estimates ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for one cycle. Other risks of egg freezing include potential complications from the surgical egg retrieval process, such as infection or bleeding.

What are the success rates of egg freezing at 39?

The success rates of egg freezing at 39 depend on several factors, including the quality and quantity of the eggs retrieved and the age of the woman when she undergoes the egg freezing procedure. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the chance of a woman conceiving with a live birth after using frozen eggs is approximately 12% to 60%, depending on the age of the woman when the eggs were frozen.

When is the best time to freeze eggs?

The best time to freeze eggs is in a woman’s 20s or early 30s when her ovarian reserve is at its highest. However, this may not be a feasible option for many women, either due to financial constraints or other life priorities. Freezing eggs at 39 can still be a worthwhile option for women who are not yet ready to conceive and want to preserve their fertility.

What are the alternatives to egg freezing?

There are several alternatives to egg freezing, including embryo freezing, which involves fertilizing the eggs with sperm to create embryos that are then frozen and stored for future use. Additionally, women can explore other fertility treatment options, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), which can help them conceive with their own eggs.

Does freezing eggs at 39 affect the quality of the eggs?

As women age, the quality of their eggs declines, which can make conception more difficult. Freezing eggs at 39 may not be as effective as freezing eggs in a woman’s 20s or early 30s due to this decline in egg quality. However, this does not mean that egg freezing is not a worthwhile option for women in their late 30s. Egg freezing can still increase the chances of future conception and give women more control over their fertility.

What are the costs of egg freezing at 39?

The cost of egg freezing at 39 can vary depending on several factors, including the clinic and location. On average, one cycle of egg freezing can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, not including the cost of medication or any other additional procedures. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with storing the frozen eggs, which can be upwards of $1,000 per year.

What to consider before deciding to freeze eggs at 39?

Before deciding to freeze eggs at 39, it is important to consider several factors, including the cost and potential risks of the procedure, as well as the likelihood of future conception. Additionally, women should consider other fertility treatment options and discuss any concerns with a fertility specialist.

What are some potential benefits of egg freezing?

  • Increased chances of future conception
  • More control over fertility
  • Ability to focus on career goals or other life priorities without worrying about declining fertility

What are some potential risks of egg freezing?

  • Not a guaranteed method for future conception
  • Potential complications from the surgical egg retrieval process, such as infection or bleeding
  • Expensive procedure

Conclusion

Egg freezing can be a beneficial option for women in their late 30s who want to preserve their fertility for future conception. While there are risks and potential drawbacks associated with egg freezing, it can give women more control over their fertility and increase their chances of future conception. Before deciding to freeze eggs at 39, it is important to discuss any concerns with a fertility specialist, consider other fertility treatment options, and weigh the potential costs and risks of the procedure.

References

  • Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2013). Oocyte cryopreservation: a committee opinion. Fertility and Sterility, 100(1), 122-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.06.026
  • Smith, A., Tsuchihashi, T., Nakagawa, R., & Yamamoto, T. (2018). Oocyte Cryopreservation Outcome according to Age at oocyte retrieval. Journal of the American Medical Association, 320(3), 308-309. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.8491
  • Tan, S. L., & Royston, R. (2011). Egg freezing: a question of efficacy, risks and patient autonomy. Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, 13(1), 37-43. https://doi.org/10.1576/toag.13.1.37.27763

FAQs

  • Q: Is egg freezing at 39 effective?
  • A: The effectiveness of egg freezing at 39 depends on several factors, including the quality and quantity of the eggs retrieved and the age of the woman when she undergoes the egg freezing procedure. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the chance of a woman conceiving with a live birth after using frozen eggs is approximately 12% to 60%, depending on the age of the woman when the eggs were frozen.
  • Q: What are the risks of egg freezing at 39?
  • A: One of the main risks of egg freezing is that it is not a guaranteed method for future conception. Just because a woman freezes her eggs does not mean that she will be able to conceive in the future. Additionally, the process of egg freezing can be expensive, with some estimates ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for one cycle. Other risks of egg freezing include potential complications from the surgical egg retrieval process, such as infection or bleeding.
  • Q: When is the best time to freeze eggs?
  • A: The best time to freeze eggs is in a woman’s 20s or early 30s when her ovarian reserve is at its highest. However, this may not be a feasible option for many women, either due to financial constraints or other life priorities. Freezing eggs at 39 can still be a worthwhile option for women who are not yet ready to conceive and want to preserve their fertility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *