Oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, may appear to be a successful technique for women who desire to get pregnant but aren’t ready to do so just yet. But what exactly is at stake? These are the five considerations you should make if you plan to freeze your eggs.
Janet Jackson got pregnant at 50 and many were in shock that she got pregnant naturally at that age. These kinds of pregnancy success stories are amazing. However, they make it simple to overlook the fact that as we age, our fertility declines and that not all women in their 40s and above are able to conceive. By storing their eggs, some women hope to boost their chances and outlive the biological clock.
What is egg freezing?
According to WebMD, Egg freezing is a type of fertility treatment where a woman’s mature eggs are taken out of her ovaries, frozen unfertilized, and preserved for use when she’s ready to get pregnant. Generally, this involves two to four weeks of self-administered hormone injections and birth control pills to temporarily “turn off” natural hormones that produce one egg during a menstrual cycle, followed by 10 to 14 days of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries and ripen multiple eggs.
Finding the correct facilities
Since clinics’ performances vary considerably, women need to be educated on how to ask the right questions, says Michele Purcell, R.N., director of egg-freezing services at Shady Grove Fertility. “It’s not just about finding a center,” she says. “It’s about finding a center that does egg freezing and thaws the eggs and has data of its success rates. Technically, anyone can say that they can freeze eggs, but the question is: Are you freezing them correctly?”
“The worst thing that could happen,” cautions Purcell, “is that a woman has this peace of mind [that her eggs are safe], but meanwhile they might not be frozen well and, as a result, might not survive the thaw.”
Costs related to egg freezing
According to Aevitas Fertility Clinic a very rough estimate for an egg freezing cycle with costs approximately R 34 000, excluding medication. The cost is very high and one may need to save up for it if their medical aid does not cover the procedure.
Written by Ncumisa Lerato Kunana.
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