In a Good Morning America interview, Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, spoke candidly about her new book, “Becoming.” What fills the pages are candid confessions and stories of personal struggles she’s encountered in life, including her arduous journey to motherhood.
Michelle Obama opened up to GMA anchor Robin Roberts about undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment to have her daughters, Malia and Sasha, and how at ages 34 and 35, it hit her that “the biological clock is real” and “egg production is limited.”
“I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work,” Obama told Roberts.
The tick-tock of the biological clock has long been a source of stress for women who envision children in their futures. Thanks to advancements in reproductive science, women who want children (just not right now) have options.
Through egg freezing, a snooze alarm of sorts is set to take off some of the pregnancy-now pressure off, allowing women to pursue family growth plans when they’re ready to do so.
As a woman, you are born with two ovaries, each containing resting eggs or follicles. At 20 weeks gestation, you have about 6 million eggs, which is the largest amount of eggs you will ever have in your lifetime. At birth, you will lose approximately half of your eggs, and by the time you reach puberty, you will only have about 200,000 eggs left. As you age, your egg quantity will continue to decrease, and the quality will as well. Understandably, diminished egg quality and quantity can significantly impact your ability to conceive.
Egg Freezing by Vitrification
Egg freezing represents a way to suspend your fertility in time, preventing the decrease in quality and quantity that inevitably comes with age. You will, of course, still continue to age. But the eggs that you freeze will stay suspended in time at the quality you possessed at the time of the freeze.
Vitrification, or flash-freezing, is a very efficient and effective method of freezing your eggs that demonstrates strong survival, fertilization, and embryonic development rates after your frozen eggs have been thawed. By applying this technology, Shady Grove Fertility has seen a sharp increase in survival rates of the eggs after thaw. Pregnancy rates have also been reassuring. This technology is instrumental in helping you freeze enough mature eggs now, so that when you are ready to use them, you will have multiple opportunities to become pregnant in the event that a cycle is unsuccessful.
SGF has more experience than most centers with egg freezing and thawing, having completed 526 egg freezing cycles in 2017, and 349 total egg thaw cycles since 2009. “Not every lab has the expertise and experience to vitrify, or flash freeze, eggs and then have them survive the thaw, fertilize, and develop into an embryo that leads to pregnancy and delivery. The techniques used to freeze and thaw eggs involve specific, highly specialized protocols, extensive embryology experience, and precise techniques,” shares Dr. Eric A. Widra, Medical Director of Shady Grove Fertility.
When to Freeze Your Eggs
On average, the most optimal time to freeze is in your early to mid-30s while your fertility potential is still near its peak. However, at our practice, you can freeze your eggs between the ages of 30 and 40. It’s about finding a balance. Some women may need to freeze younger, while some have more time. This is dependent on medical history and ovarian reserve function.
Why Choose SGF?
At SGF, we stand behind our technology and approach with published success rate data that helps women take the guesswork and uncertainty of whether egg freezing really works. Most other practices or centers don’t have any facts or figures behind their egg freezing cycles, nor do they have the experience or precision necessary to safely thaw the eggs. What makes SGF different is that we are one of only a few fertility centers in the U.S. with published egg freezing pregnancy data.
What Women are Saying About Egg Freezing
“I wear sunscreen to protect myself from future sun damage. I workout to keep off my weight. Why would I not do something to prevent future emotional pain and suffering?”
“This is not just some whim, like I’m 17 years old and I want kids someday. My life plan at some point is to have at least two children. I’ve already made provisions for that.”
Looking for more information? Watch our Egg Freezing On-Demand Webinar, available for viewing at your convenience.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published November 2018.
To learn more about egg freezing or to schedule an appointment, please contact the SGF New Patient Center at 1-877-411-9292 or complete this brief online form.