Let me first explain what ‘egg freezing’ is exactly. Egg Freezing is a process of preserving your fertility by collecting and freezing individual eggs so that in the future, you have the option to fertilize those quality eggs into embryos to facilitate pregnancy. The procedure is age-dependent, i.e. the earlier the eggs are frozen, the higher is the success rate. This is because biologically, your fertility, and thus chances of getting pregnant decrease after your mid-thirties. As a woman today, at this age, you may not be ready or in the right situation to become a mother, and may therefore opt to freeze your eggs.
Egg Freezing has been around for decades. However, recent changes in lifestyle choices and more importantly, improved technology as well as safe and secure procedures have contributed to making egg freezing a popular choice today.
While a common reason for women who freeze their eggs may be career-related, in this article I have discussed numerous other reasons for choosing egg freezing, in an attempt to break misconceptions about this procedure.
“You are in a race against your biological clock.” It is important to know that your fertility starts to reduce from the age of around 33 years and egg reserves decrease from the age of 35. Both egg quality and egg quantity decrease with age. Should you want children of your own after a certain age, the only option then would be to receive eggs from other younger women – unless you have frozen your quality eggs at a young age to use them when required at a later age. It is common that these women who have frozen their eggs get pregnant naturally and do not end up using their frozen eggs. However, choosing to freeze their eggs gives them a back-up and relieves social stress against their biological clock.
Research suggests that both women and men wait for the “right time” to have children. This may include finding the right partner and co-parent but it is almost always much more than that. Even women in committed long-term relationships may not yet be ‘ready for kids’. Women tend to have certain pre-requisite criteria like a stable job, steady financial income, a long-term partner, and/or settled kid-friendly home before having kids. Focusing on their career is just one of the many many reasons women today choose this option. Egg freezing offers the best possible chance of conception, at a future date, when the time is right for you and/or your partner. For single women, studies show that it prevents “panic partnering” where they settle in relationships because they know they’re running out of time to become mothers. The decision to freeze their eggs buys these single women more time and gives them security about the future.
Women in same-sex relationships may want to have biological children of their own, either now or in the future. If you want a baby with your partner where one of you provides the egg and the other carries the baby, egg freezing is an optimal choice to preserve your quality eggs until the time is right.
Medical reasons such as undergoing cancer treatment or ovarian surgery are other common reasons why women today choose to freeze their eggs and preserve quality eggs for a future stage in their life when they may want to have a child. For instance, cancer patients are often treated with severe radiation and chemotherapy, which can permanently damage the condition of their eggs and leave them sterile. With this procedure, they have the option to preserve their fertility and chances of having children after they have been treated.
These are just a few reasons why women today are increasingly opting to freeze their eggs at an early age. Are you considering this procedure? Share your reasons, thoughts, and perspectives in the comments below. I would love to hear new insights!