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Monday, May 27, 2024

A “Sobering” Study Shows the Difficulties Involved With Egg Freezing

Six years ago, when Claire Evans was 36 years old, she made the decision to store her eggs in a frozen state. She had just ended her engagement and was scared that she might miss her chance to have a family before it was too late. The practise was advised by a buddy whose own divorce had recently taken place at the time.

She received drugs that stimulated her ovaries into producing an excessive number of eggs. These eggs were then frozen so that she might have a kid at an age when it would be impossible for her to get pregnant without the assistance of medical intervention.

Egg freezing is a process that is becoming more popular, but it is a costly alternative for women who wish to postpone the beginning of their childbearing years. However, recent studies have shown that there are a few exceptions to this rule: a woman’s age at the time she freezes her eggs and the number of eggs she stores make a substantial impact in determining whether or not she will have a child. According to the findings of the research, the vast majority of women who attempted to conceive did not succeed. This was frequently the case because the women waited until they were too old to freeze their eggs or because they did not freeze a sufficient number of eggs.

This word of warning originates from research that was presented earlier this summer in the form of a publication in the journal Fertility and Sterility by the New York University Langone Fertility Center, which is the facility where Ms. Evans had her eggs frozen.

According to the findings of a research that was directed by Dr. Sarah Druckenmiller Cascante, who is a fellow at New York University Langone, and Dr. James Grifo, who is the director of the fertility clinic, the average age at which women froze their eggs was 38.3 years old. They waited an average of four years for their eggs to thaw so that they could be fertilised.

The number of healthy women who have their eggs frozen is expected to increase to 12,438 in 2020, up from 7,193 in 2016, as reported by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. However, according to Dr. Timothy Hickman, president of the association and medical director of CCRM Fertility in Houston, “national statistics on success rates are very much nonexistent.”

Dr. Penzias said that his daughter Rebecca, who is 29 years old, is struggling with the dilemma of choosing between the two options. Ms. Penzias, who has granted him permission to discuss her circumstances and use her name, has shown an interest in having her eggs frozen since she is currently working toward earning a Ph.D. and does not feel she is ready to have a family. Her mind would be put at ease if she had some eggs stored in the freezer.

Before making the decision to freeze their eggs, ladies need to make sure they are financially equipped to do so. According to Dr. Hickman, the average cost of an egg retrieval cycle is $10,000. The amount of eggs that can be retrieved from a woman varies from one woman to the next, and for many women, the only way to gather a significant quantity to increase the likelihood of success is to go through more than one cycle.

After the eggs have been thawed and fertilised, the embryos are grown in the lab for a few days, and then they are transferred into the woman’s uterus for an additional cost of $5,000 to $7,000. Chromosomal abnormalities are checked for in the embryos of a great number of women, including Ms. Evans. That will set you back an additional $3,000. In addition, the expense of storing frozen eggs might reach up to one thousand dollars annually.

Ms. Evans, on the other hand, is a shining example of achievement. When she froze her eggs, she was still young enough to have a decent chance of having them successfully fertilised and to be able to have eggs harvested twice in order to have a total of 20 eggs that could be stored.

In 2019, she tied the knot with the same guy she had been engaged to before. In December of the previous year, she went to a fertility clinic to have her eggs frozen and fertilised with the sperm of her husband. She gave birth to a baby daughter, Fiona, around seven months ago.

However, Ms. Evans’s friend who had pushed her to have the operation done was unsuccessful in having the frozen eggs function for her. In the year 2020, she thawed and fertilised the approximately ten eggs that she had previously frozen.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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