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Jennifer Aniston Wishes She Froze Her Eggs – Should You Freeze Yours Before It's Too Late?

Wealth of Geeks 11/28/2022 Alex Robles, MD

© Provided by Wealth of Geeks

In the past two years, fertility clinics saw interest in egg freezing procedures leap to nearly 40% higher than in previous years. Celebrity Jennifer Aniston made headlines recently when she said” she would have given anything” for someone to have told her to freeze her eggs at a younger age.

With couples delaying childbirth until later in life, egg freezing may be your only chance to preserve fertility. Unfortunately, many women don't know that freezing their eggs is an option until it's too late.

So, what is egg freezing, and should you do it?

The Benefits

Egg freezing is a fertility treatment in which eggs are removed from the ovaries and preserved for future use. The eggs can remain frozen indefinitely until a later date when the person wishes to become pregnant.

There are several reasons why someone might elect to freeze their eggs. The most common reason is if you are not yet ready to have children but wish to preserve your fertility.

The Biological Clock

The sad truth is that fertility declines in the mid to late 30s, and it becomes increasingly difficult to conceive with age.

Even in vitro fertilization (IVF), success rates are lower in older women. The chance of having a successful IVF cycle dip below 13% over 40 compared to 32% in women under 40.

Many patients undergo several rounds of IVF before achieving success, and the emotional and financial costs can be significant.

“I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it,” said Aniston in an interview with Allure.

Her story is not unique.

Many women go to great lengths and expenses to have a baby in their 40s and may never be successful.

The Social Stigma

There is still a social stigma around freezing your eggs, with many people thinking it's only for older women who have “left it too late.”

However, this isn't the case.

Freezing your eggs can be beneficial at any age, especially if you are in your early 30s and are not yet ready to start a family.

The downside is that the process can be expensive, and most insurance plans do not cover it. It can also be emotionally challenging to go through the treatment alone.

The Egg Freezing Process

The egg-freezing process typically takes approximately one month and involves three main steps:

1. Stimulation of Ovarian Follicles

2. Egg Retrieval

3. Freezing the Eggs

The Stimulation Phase

After the initial consultation and workup, the first step is stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple follicles.

On average, the ovarian stimulation phase takes around ten days, and each day requires you to administer two or more injections to yourself.

You will also have frequent blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor your progress. When the follicles reach a certain size, you will take a trigger shot to mature the eggs.

Egg Retrieval

Approximately 36 hours later, you will undergo the egg retrieval procedure. It is a quick, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure.

You will receive anesthesia for light sedation, and the procedure takes about 20 minutes. You also get to go home the same day.

Your frozen eggs can remain frozen in storage indefinitely. Once you are ready to use them, you will need to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) to thaw, fertilize, and transfer the resulting embryo into your uterus.

Success Rates

The success rates of egg freezing depend on several factors, such as the person's age at the time of freezing and the number of eggs frozen.

For example, a 35-year-old patient who freezes 12 eggs will have approximately a 75% chance of having a baby after thawing. A 40-year-old patient who freezes the same number of eggs will have roughly a 30% chance.

This calculator can help you predict how many eggs you will need to freeze to have a desired chance of success.

However, many patients never need to use their frozen eggs. Once you are ready to have children, fertility specialists recommend trying on your own first. You should consider using your frozen eggs if you do not get pregnant after 6-12 months of trying to conceive.

Consider The Cost

The cost of egg freezing can vary depending on the fertility clinic and the number of medications you need for the stimulation.

On average, the total cost of one egg-freezing cycle (including medication, monitoring, and the procedure) is between $12,000 and $15,000. In addition, there is a yearly storage fee to keep the eggs frozen.

Future Fertility Needs

There is no right or wrong answer regarding whether or not you should freeze your eggs, and it depends on your circumstances and what you want for your future.

If you are considering egg freezing, it is essential to speak with a reproductive endocrinologist to learn more about the process and to discuss whether it is right for you.

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This article was produced by Alex Robles, MD and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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