SGF Atlanta’s Medical Director, Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith, recently sat down with the women of A Seat at the Table, an Emmy-nominated program that gives a voice to issues from diverse experiences, perspectives, and challenges. During the show, Dr. McCarthy-Keith stresses the importance of a woman’s age on her ability to conceive and explains the benefits of egg freezing. Her simple and easily comprehendible explanation lead to a moment of sudden insight and discovery among the talk show hosts, and undoubtedly to the viewers as well.
Watch the full clip here [skip ahead to 12:11 mark for egg freezing discussion] or read Dr. McCarthy-Keith’s quotes below.
“We do have a timeline with our fertility that is different than men. So, men make brand new sperm about every 72 days, and they usually do that until they’re 50, 60, sometimes 70.”
“For ladies, it’s the opposite. We have more eggs before we’re even born. Halfway through pregnancy when we’re about 5 months of gestation, we have six to seven million eggs in our little fetal ovaries. By the time we’re born, we have about one million left. From that birth point on, egg count starts to go down. By the time we’re in puberty, we have about 450,000 eggs left. The reason that the egg count is changing is because there is a whole wave of eggs that develop every cycle. It’s not that you lose one egg a month.”
“Every month, there’s a crop of eggs that start to grow. One goes on and ovulates and the rest just fall back, so you lose lots of eggs monthly and that starts in puberty. Regardless of whether you’re on birth control, pregnant, breastfeeding, anything, every month there’s a wave of eggs that we are losing. Once you get to your mid-30s, that decline picks up and becomes steeper toward 40, and then in menopause when your egg supply is depleted and there are no more eggs developing.”
“Our timeline is very important to think about. Egg freezing is a way for women to capitalize on that. You may not be ready professionally, you may be single, not ready to have a baby just yet, but if you collect and freeze your eggs at a younger age, those eggs are locked into that age. If you freeze your eggs at 30, you can come back at 40 or 45. If you thaw those eggs and fertilize them, your chance of getting pregnant is based on the age when you froze them, not the age when you use them.”
Thousands of women have decided to freeze their eggs, giving them the power to have children when the timing is right, not when their biological clock dictates they should have them. Given the advances made in egg freezing technology, Shady Grove Fertility has seen an 83% growth in their egg freezing program since 2013, and numbers of women choosing this viable option continue to rise. The popularity of egg freezing at SGF is largely contributed to continuous innovation that is increasing success rates; transparent, published success rates; and a variety of affordable financial programs.
To learn more about egg freezing or to schedule an appointment with Dr. McCarthy-Keith or another SGF physician, please contact the SGF New Patient Center at 1-877-411-9292 or complete this brief online form.