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Egg freezing: A positive experience for some women

Social egg freezing is a fertility preservation option available to women, which is becoming increasingly more common, in part because of the availability of this option based on recent advances in the science of successfully freezing eggs.

According to the results of a recent study conducted at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Brussels, this fertility preservation option is generally perceived as being a positive experience and option for many women. Researchers conducted a follow-up survey of 140 women who were considering freezing their eggs between 2009 and 2011. The mean age of the women was 37 years. Women completed a questionnaire assessing their relationship status, reproductive health, future reproductive plans, and attitudes toward egg freezing (oocyte banking). Of those women who underwent the egg freezing procedure (61.4%), nearly all (96.2%) said they would undergo the procedure again, although many (70.6%) would have preferred to do so at a younger age. Interestingly, one-third (34.1%) of the women believed that they would never have to use their frozen eggs to create a family, but the survey respondents were happy to have this option as insurance against possible fertility problems in the future.

Researchers believe that egg freezing provides psychological reassurance to women who someday want to become mothers, but who may not yet be ready to pursue parenthood. Says lead researcher Dr. Dominic Stoop:

“Our results indicate that most women who have had oocyte cryopreservation have no regrets about it, but do wish they had done so at a younger age…This makes sense, because the younger the eggs, the better the chance of pregnancy. But ideally oocytes are cryopreserved in the early thirties, when oocyte quality is still good and we can retrieve a good number of oocytes per cycle. While oocyte quality and quantity are better at a younger age, women in their twenties still have a relatively long fertile period ahead of them, with a great chance that they may never need the cryopreserved oocytes.”

If you are considering egg freezing as a way of preserving your fertility, you should consult with a fertility specialist, ideally before your late 30s.

To read more about this study, click here.

To read more about egg freezing, click here, here, and here.

To read more about fertility preservation, click here.

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