Egg freezing is an emerging trend, especially for women who do not want to get pregnant right away but are not entirely against the idea of motherhood in the future. In this article, we will discuss the important aspects of egg freezing such as its success rate, cost, and egg freezing age limit for women.
What is Egg Freezing?
Oocyte cryopreservation, commonly known as egg freezing, is a modern way to preserve a woman’s ability to conceive. The idea is to “harvest” the unfertilized egg cells from the woman and keep it in storage for the future.
When the time comes that the woman would like to get pregnant, the eggs will be thawed. Fertilization of the eggs with sperm will be handled in the laboratory. Once successful, the fertilized egg will be implanted into the uterus.
Please note that a lot of factors may affect the process of egg freezing, but the main concern is the egg freezing age limit for women.
Why is Egg Freezing Important?
As mentioned earlier, the goal of egg freezing is to save the woman’s ability to get pregnant in the future. Specifically, egg freezing is important for women who:
- Have conditions that may affect their fertility, such as lupus and sickle cell anemia.
- Need treatment for a condition that will affect their ability to get pregnant. For instance, cancer treatments often decrease a woman’s fertility.
- Are in a relationship with someone who’s not yet ready for children.
- Must undergo life-saving surgeries that will affect their fertility. This is especially true for those who need an operation for their ovaries.
- Have a family history of early menopause.
- Might have premature ovarian failure due to genetic conditions, like Turner’s syndrome.
Aside from the reasons mentioned above, egg freezing is also important for women who are not yet ready to get pregnant now but would like to ensure pregnancy later. The reasons for this could vary from wanting to pursue further education to having a very active career. Because the egg freezing age limit is very important in this method, many women choose to have their eggs frozen at the soonest possible time.
Finally, some women would also opt for egg freezing if they are against the idea of embryo freezing. Embryo freezing is a method of preserving an already-fertilized egg. However, this may pose some religious or cultural conflicts to some.
The Success Rate of Egg Freezing
Unfortunately, we do not have the overall data about the success rate of oocyte cryopreservation. But according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the rate of a single frozen egg to lead into a live birth is about 2% to 12%. The good news is, some clinics or centers that offer an egg freezing service can give you a bird’s eye view of how well the method worked for their clients.
One example is the USCFertility in the United States, which announced that, as of now, 150 women chose to have their eggs frozen in their facility. Of the 21 who returned to get pregnant, 15 or 65% had successful deliveries.
Here’s a fact: the egg freezing age limit plays a huge role in the success rate of oocyte cryopreservation. Experts agree that the pregnancy rates depend largely on the woman’s age at the time she had her eggs frozen.
The Best Time to Freeze Eggs
Many experts have various views on the egg freezing age limit, but they have a common denominator. Generally, a woman who would like to have her eggs frozen must do it in her prime reproductive years when her cells are at their healthiest. The best reproductive years for women are in their 20s, but would it be practical?
Some experts say that women who are in their early 20s do not need to freeze their eggs because they can easily get pregnant at the age of 30. If so, when is the best time to freeze a woman’s eggs?
Doctors believe that the best age range is between 27 to 34 years old.
Older Fresh Eggs vs Younger Frozen Eggs
Which will have a higher pregnancy success rate – a frozen egg from when a woman was 34 years old or a freshly-harvested egg from a 42-year-old woman?
This is a good question, especially for people who have frozen their eggs in their 30s and who then decided to get pregnant in their 40s. Which egg has a higher chance of leading to a live birth? According to Dr. Jaime Knopman, an infertility specialist from the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, the younger, frozen egg is better.
Dr. Nicole Noyes, the director of fertility preservation at New York University School of Medicine agrees with Dr. Knopman. She said that “younger eggs are healthier.”
Egg Freezing in the Philippines
While IVF and artificial insemination are reproductive technologies widely accepted and accessible in other countries, are there options available in the country?
Now that we have identified the best time to freeze an egg cell, it is time to talk about egg freezing in the Philippines. Your first concern will be, is it already available in our country? Fortunately, it is! There are clinics that offer oocyte cryopreservation.
If a woman wants to freeze her eggs, she must prepare at least Php120,000 for the procedure. In some reports, the costs can go as high as Php350,000. This cost includes the tests, the hormonal medications, doctor’s fees, and hospital fees. Aside from the procedural costs, you may also want to prepare at least Php10,000 annually for the storage.
Additionally, if you are wondering if insurance policies will shoulder the costs of oocyte cryopreservation, you may be disappointed. Even in countries where egg freezing is already a trend, insurance companies typically do not pay for the procedure.
Be it for medical or personal reasons, women now have the choice to delay their pregnancy until they are ready for motherhood. Some factors like the expensive cost and egg freezing age limit will have to be considered, but there is no doubt that oocyte cryopreservation gives a woman more power when it comes to her fertility and life choices.
Learn more about Pregnancy here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.