Freezing your eggs: Why do women do it, and how does it really work? Here’s everything you need to know about freezing your eggs for later!
It is estimated that by the time puberty has hit, the average woman will be a proud owner of 300,000 eggs, with 300-400 being dropped every month during ovulation. This means the older a woman gets, the less likely she will be able to conceive. While men carry viable sperm in their bodies until death, when it comes to healthy eggs, women aren’t so lucky.
As women, we’re able to hide our wrinkles, slap on some spanks to have a bangin’ body, and use makeup to look older or go without it to look younger. Unfortunately when it comes to aging, there ain’t no cream to fool your body into producing baby-makin’ eggs!
That means if you feel like deep down you’re destined to be a mother *just not your mother, right?*, but you’re not up for adopting and don’t exactly have a man in the picture, freezing your eggs might be your best bet.
If you’re thinking about doing the deep freeze, or you’re just curious about exactly what it’s all about, then you’re in luck. We’re looking at everything you need to know about freezing your eggs.
Why women freeze their eggs
Think freezing your eggs sounds too out of the box? Well, plenty of women are doing it, all with justified and fantastic reasons for doing so. Dangerous jobs, unstable relationships, sex change operations, personal health issues, and many other situations can cause women to take the freezing leap. Here are some of the most common reasons for freezing your eggs.
#1 Partner Panic. Many women feel in their hearts that they were meant to shoot out a little one, but their current partners may not be so convinced that parenthood should be in their future. This, or not having a partner at all, often prompts a woman to save her eggs while they are at their most fertile in order to preserve potential babies for when they finally find the man of their dreams. [Read: 9 practical signs he’s the one you should marry]
#2Careers. Many strong, independent women choose to establish their education or careers first before bringing a little one into the picture. Whether young or old, some women simply choose to freeze their eggs until they’ve got the rest of their lives together.
#3Aging. For those of you wondering where there’s *anything* good about aging—well, yes, there is. Besides your increased intelligence gained from life lessons and learning to never date the hot jerk in the tight jeans ever again, you also have the promise of fantastic sex during your “horny 30s.” But *there’s always a but* with age does come reduced fertility and heightened risks of miscarriage, birth defects, and abnormalities.
#4Chemotherapy. As if cancer wasn’t hard enough, women dealing with chemotherapy also have to worry about how the process is going to affect their fertility. While undergoing chemotherapy treatments, some women may experience interrupted or indefinitely halted periods, and poor or inactive ovaries. These effects may only be temporary, or may have a permanent effect on your chance of fertility. Due to the unknowable future, many women freeze their eggs, ovarian tissues, or embryos as a “just in case” method.
How it’s done
Sold on the idea of freezing a little egg-baby or embryo for later? If so, it should be noted that any fears regarding needles will quickly be done away with, like it or not! After the consultation with the doctor, the patient will be asked in for a follow up, wherein the doctor will explain any potential risks and start gathering up the relevant medical records. In fact, the doctor is going to get to know the patient *very* well, as they test for STDs or any other complications.
Following these consultations, there will be a period of up to two weeks in which the patient will take fertility drugs or hormone injections. At this time, their doctor will conduct blood tests and checkups to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Once the hormone-injected eggs have matured, the doctor will put the future mother-to-be under anesthesia and will use an ultrasound and needle to draw out the eggs. Cramping to follow. And the recovered eggs will then be frozen and kept at a clinic.
Retrieving your eggs
Eggs can remain frozen for years without decreased quality.Once the patient makes the decision to become pregnant, her eggs will be thawed and injected with viable sperm. This is then moved to the woman’s uterus. And then she better get ready to be a Mama!
4 fast facts about freezing your eggs
Still aching to know more about freezing your eggs? Here’s 4 fast facts that you’re definitely going to want to know.
#1 You’re going to get impatient. If you want your eggs frozen, likely you want them frozen NOW, NOW, NOW! Unfortunately, you’re in for a bit of a process to get to the end goal. Many doctor’s visits, tests, ultrasounds, and hormone checks will be performed in order to get the best results possible. Just be patient; you’ll get there!
#2It’s expensive. Having your eggs frozen is not for those deathly afraid of needles, nor is it for the broke! The process of hormone injections, egg freezing, egg retrieval, plus cold storage frees can be anywhere upwards of $10,000. And we mean *above*… like, $35,000+ kinds of above! So while you may not be ready for a baby anytime soon, you shouldn’t freeze one at the risk of living inside a cardboard box, either!
#3 Young eggs are better. Since the body has the most viable eggs during a woman’s 20s and early 30s, it’s best to freeze eggs or embryos as early as possible, as opposed to freezing them in the later 30s and early 40s. Freezing eggs at an early age gives the best chance of success.
#4 It’s not guaranteed. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates that the odds of a frozen egg leading to a live birth are anywhere from 2-12%. Not great odds, right? But don’t write it off just yet. Because of these figures, many doctors recommend freezing several dozen eggs for the best results. This is also why sometimes, after injecting themselves with several sperminated eggs, women undergoing this process sometimes end up with triplets—oops!
There are many things to consider when it comes to freezing your eggs. It’s expensive, difficult, uncomfortable, and after all that, isn’t even guaranteed. But many women consider these mere annoyances compared to the potential of having a child when it is right for them.