This week, two articles – one on National Public Radio (NPR) and another on TheStar.com, the site of the Toronto Star -- examined the current state of egg freezing, in which a woman (preferably a young one) has her eggs retrieved, frozen, and stored for later use when she’s ready to have a baby -- and when she's likely to be past the ideal age for conception and healthy pregnancy.
The NPR piece talked to Dr. Alan Copperman, a fertility specialist in Manhattan who offers egg freezing, and various women living in New York City, noting that the process of ovarian stimulation, egg harvesting, and storage can “easily exceed $40,000.” On the up side, a freezing method called vitrification has helped improve what were once dismal success rates for egg freezing.
The Toronto Star article asked a provocative question: Is egg freezing the greatest innovation in women's reproductive autonomy since the Pill, or a still-experimental procedure that allows fertility clinics to profit from women paying to put motherhood on ice? Answer: A little of both, says writer Marcia Kaye, who cites an encouraging Spanish study of 600 women who used donor eggs. Of those, 44 percent conceived with frozen eggs, while 43 got pregnant with fresh eggs.
Egg freezing has helped give rise to a new field going by the name of “fertility preservation,” though Kaye notes that there are certainly no guarantees and that there is a “dramatic decline in both the quality and quantity of eggs from about age 37 on.”
Have you ever considered freezing your eggs? If so, why and if not, why not? If you've frozen your eggs we'd love to hear about your experience.