Egg freezing is a viable resource for women who want the option of building a family at some point but, for any number of reasons, are not quite ready to start. Women choose egg freezing because they realize their biological clock will continue to tick and they know that fertility declines with age.
The Washington Post turned to Shady Grove Fertility’s own Kate Devine, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and Director of Clinical Research who practices in our K Street Office, to help answer the question, “If a women freezes her eggs, will her future babies be healthy?”
Are egg freezing babies healthy?
The short answer, yes. Dr. Devine assures egg freezing patients that according to the available evidence, babies born as the result of egg freezing are normal. “Though still somewhat limited by the newness of the technology, the data we have accumulated to date are reassuring, particularly for women for whom the alternative might be not to have a child from their own eggs.”
Though the process of egg freezing has been around since the 1980s, it has become an increasing popular option, especially as the age of first-time moms increases. The process is similar to in vitro fertilization; a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with hormones, and the eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries. The eggs that are retrieved are cryopreserved through a flash-freeze process called vitrification. When a woman decides she wants to use her eggs, they are thawed and fertilized, similar to the IVF process, and then transferred into her uterus.
Dr. Devine recommends that a woman freeze her eggs before the age of 35 for the best chance of pregnancy success, although women up to their early 40s may also freeze. The success rates of SGF’s egg freezing program show women younger than 38 who freeze the recommended number of eggs (at least 20 eggs) approach an 80 percent chance of having a baby from those eggs, should they ever need to use them. Women 38 to 40 years old who freeze the recommended number of eggs (at least 30 eggs) have a a 70-75% percent chance of having a baby if they need to use their stored eggs.
Can I afford egg freezing?
Shady Grove Fertility helps patients grow their family by making treatment financially possible. We have recently introduced a new egg freezing monthly payment plan for as low as $195 per month. Our newest financial program offers a discount and an affordable monthly fee, which includes long-term (5 years) storage. Use your eggs early, receive money back.
If you’re considering freezing your eggs, the first step is to evaluate your fertility through ovarian reserve (a.k.a. egg quantity) testing done at SGF. Ovarian reserve testing evaluates several hormone levels between days 2, 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle. Our clinicians perform this testing to determine the how many eggs we might be able to obtain from each round of ovarian stimulation medications followed by an egg retrieval procedure. After this testing, your SGF physician will review the results and your options with you. He/she will provide you guidance to create your personalized egg freezing plan. This plan will help answer the questions: should I freeze, when should I freeze, how many eggs should I freeze based on my family building goals, and how many egg freezing cycles will it likely take.
The best time to have a baby is an incredibly personal decision and one that takes significant thought and consideration. SGF is here to help make that decision a less stressful one.
To learn more about egg freezing babies being healthy or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-411-9292 or submit this brief online form.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in October 2017, but was updated for accuracy in August 2019.