According to data from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and its reporting arm, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), more women are resorting to freezing their eggs. However, studies also show that there is little official data or guidance for women that are thinking about freezing their eggs.
Can you freeze your eggs over 40? What are the benefits of cryogenic storage for your embryos? These kinds of questions need answers before you can commit yourself to freeze your future children. Here are five things you need to know about freezing your eggs.
Freeze Eggs When You’re Young
The highest birth rates occur from women that freeze their eggs before the age of 30. The average age for egg freezing is 37-years, and many choose to freeze their eggs well into their 40s.
While 30 is the recommended age, there are plenty of success stories of women freezing eggs up to the age of 42, and still managing a live birth.
Doctors recommend 36 as the cut-off age for the best chance at live birth. Eggs stored before this age have the highest quality and will be more likely to be viable in the future.
Eggs Last 10-years in Storage
Freezing your eggs before you turn 30 gives you the best option for healthy, high-quality eggs when you decide to go for fertility treatment. However, research shows that eggs may only last up to 10-years in cryogenic storage.
Therefore, if you have your eggs frozen too early, you might not have any viable options left by the time you want to undergo the procedure.
Some Clinics are Better than Others
Always choose to work with a clinic that has a stellar reputation. Scroll through social media for social proof on the performance of the clinic you’re thinking about using for your treatment.
When selecting your clinic, ask them for proof regarding their success rate. A good clinic will be transparent with this information. Ask them for the credentials about the doctors involved with handling the procedure, and their past experiences and training.
Ask to see the success rates by age, as the success rate of fertilizing women in their 40s is far lower than that of women in their early thirties.
You Might Lose Eggs
When committing to your therapy, the more eggs you can freeze, the better your chance of birth in the future. Data shows that for a 75% success rate, a 34-year-old woman will need to freeze a minimum of 10 eggs.
However, the older the patient, the more eggs are required for a successful outcome. A 37-year-old would need to freeze at least 20-eggs to achieve the same success rate as a 30-year-old. A 42-year-old would need at least 61-eggs for the same potential outcome.
The process of freezing your eggs might also result in loss. Some eggs may be immature, or they don’t freeze or thaw properly, resulting in a loss.
A 35-year-old woman might only produce 15-eggs after stimulation therapy. However, 4 of those eggs might be immature; three might die during the freezing process and four during the thaw. She has 4-viable eggs available.
Birth rates with frozen eggs are less than 20%. Therefore, even with 4-live embryos, the woman may not experience a pregnancy.
There’s a Risk It Doesn’t Work
As mentioned, the success rate is around 20% per egg, even for women who undergo the therapy before they turn 36-years old.
However, it’s also important to note that women who fall pregnant over the age of 40-years are at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy.
Consult with your doctor about the risks before committing to the therapy.