Should I freeze my Eggs?
Why might I want to freeze my eggs?
Egg freezing can be beneficial to people with medical conditions that mean that they may not be able to produce high quality eggs at a later date. For example, people who are set to undergo treatment for malignant cancers often choose to freeze eggs before the treatment begins.
When females are born, they already have all their immature egg cells stored in their ovaries. At birth, a female will have 400,000-500,000 immature egg cells. This number decreases with time due to programmed cell death (which is completely normal) until the menopause occurs when only 1000 egg cells remain. Due to this decline in egg number, many people wish to freeze their eggs to increase their chances of pregnancy in the future. With more people electing to postpone pregnancy, egg-freezing is a way of optimising chances of conception in people who plan to have children after their late-thirties.
Additionally, egg quality decreases as females age. This is because the likelihood of genetic abnormalities increases as people get older. These genetic abnormalities decrease chances of pregnancy and increase chances of a miscarriage. Therefore, people electing to postpone pregnancy often choose to freeze their eggs at a younger age, to reduce the likelihood of such genetic abnormalities.
Is it a suitable option for me?
Egg freezing is an option for many people planning to have children in the future. This is suitable for many people of reproductive age. For example, people who are single and wish to be in a relationship before having children, people who are in a relationship and want to postpone pregnancy, and people who are unsure of whether they want to have children in the future but would like to keep their options open.
Also, for some people set to be treated for cancer, egg freezing is an option as they may be unable to produce eggs after their treatment. Please note that electing to freeze your eggs before chemotherapy will delay when the chemotherapy can start.
If you have experienced the menopause, egg freezing will not be possible.
For all people choosing to undergo egg freezing, we recommend that you come in and talk to our doctor. This is particularly important for people over the age of 40 years who wish to freeze their eggs.
Cox, E. and Whitten, R., 2018. Embryology, Ovarian Follicle Development. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.