Not long ago, Apple and Facebook announced that, as part of their benefits packages, they would cover the costs of egg freezing. As fertility specialists, we love any opportunity to discuss technology that expands the reproductive options of women. However, some readers might be a little unfamiliar with the process.
Egg freezing is based around the concept that a woman may wish to get pregnant at some point in the future but wants to spend time during key reproductive years focusing on her career, education, or other goals. By having eggs frozen, generally 15-20, this extends the window of fertility a bit. For some women, that means one cycle of medication and one cycle of egg retrieval. For other women, multiple cycles can be required. A woman that does opt to have her eggs frozen will experience approximately the same success rate as if she took part in in vitro fertilization, also known as IVF.
The ideal candidate for egg freezing is a woman under the age of 36 who thinks she will probably wait several years before getting pregnant. Does that mean women over age 36 will enjoy less success? Honestly, we don’t know. Women older than 36 can have lower chances of successful conception with IVF, so it’s expected that would also apply to the freezing of eggs for future usage. Ultimately, though, anyone who is considering the process should have a consultation first to determine if egg freezing truly is the optimal option.