We wanted to present our readers with a very relevant topic and offer you a two part series about egg freezing. In this particular blog entry, you will read about egg freezing from a scientific and data driven perspective and in the second follow-up blog, we will discuss how egg freezing can impact dating and relationships for better or for worse. With so many women discussing the most private aspects of their lives with Linx, often the topic of egg preservation comes up.
Since the invention of birth control almost 60 years ago, no medical advancement has empowered women more than egg freezing. Birth control gave women the freedom to delay conception and decide with whom they would like to procreate, and egg freezing can give women freedom from their biological clocks.
Egg freezing began as a procedure for cancer patients who wanted to preserve eggs before undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment. But over the past 10 years, egg freezing has become a hot topic for single women who don’t want to settle for the wrong guy just to have children while they are still fertile and for those who want to achieve certain professional goals before having children.
The recent popularity of egg freezing has spiked as a result of the marketing efforts of companies like Eggbanxx, a network of egg freezing doctors that attract new patients through egg freezing parties in New York City. Similar to Uber or Airbnb, many view egg freezing as a disruptive technology that can give women more control over their bodies.
Women start out with over a million eggs at birth, that number is down to 300,000 by the time they hit puberty, and it continues to dwindle every month until they are no longer fertile. Especially if they live in large cities, women are having children later in life, and egg freezing can give this option to women who have put off having children for one reason or another.
EggBanxx estimates that 76,000 women worldwide will be freezing their eggs by 2018. Successful pregnancy rates fluctuate greatly based on the woman’s age when she froze her eggs, how many there were, how they were frozen, how fertile she was to begin with, and which doctor did the procedure.
As the technology improves, more women have decided to freeze their eggs, and companies like Facebook, Apple, Citigroup and JP Morgan offer egg freezing to female employees as part of their benefits package. These cushy “insurance policies” are wonderful options for women as long as the companies also provide great benefits and support to women who choose to take time off to have children earlier their careers. In a 2013 New York University study of 183 women who had frozen their eggs, 19% said they might have had a child earlier if their workplace had been more flexible.
The New York Times just released that The Pentagon plans to roll out a pilot program offering military troops medical benefits for freezing eggs and storing sperm. This large scale program takes reproductive health to a national scale and recognizes the importance of giving troops important options.
Similar to cutting edge companies who are paying for egg freezing, celebrities have also brought the procedure into the spotlight. Diana Hayden (42), the winner of the Miss World pageant in 1997, gave birth to a beautiful baby from one of her frozen eggs, and Whitney Cummings (33), actress and comedian, often talks about how freezing her eggs gave her more freedom and less pressure to find the one as soon as possible.
Australian sexologist and author, Dr. Nikki Goldstein (30), also recently froze her eggs and videotaped the experience – from the shots, to the emotions, to the pain. During the process, Dr. Goldstein realized how deeply she wanted children and how important it was for her to have time to find the right partner.
You may want to consider freezing your eggs if:
- You are in your mid-30s and single or not interested in having kids in the next few years
- You are single and in your mid-30s to mid-40s and would regret never having a biological child
- You are willing to research egg freezing and understand that there is not a 100% guarantee that you will be able to conceive a child from your frozen eggs in the future
- You wouldn’t notice the $10-$15k egg freezing cost missing from your bank account (if your company doesn’t pay for it)
- You understand the costs of extracting, freezing, storing and replanting your eggs, which can cost upwards of $50k total
- You are committed to injecting yourself with hormones and are okay with being extremely bloated and in abdominal pain for a month before the doctor extracts the eggs
- You realize that you may have to go through the egg extraction process 2 or 3 times if not enough good eggs are collected the first time
- It is 100% your decision. Egg freezing brokers are popping up all the time to capitalize on women’s insecurities of ending up alone and childless. Do not get pressured into freezing your eggs – do it because it makes sense for you.
- You want to take the pressure off finding the future father of your children on every first date.
- You have been strategic about every decision in your life – where to go to school, which job to take, where to live, etc. – and you want to decide when and with whom you would like to have children
- You have found a good doctor that you trust to perform the procedure
- You have no religious issues with the concept of egg freezing
- You live in or frequently travel to South America and don’t want to have children until the Zika virus has been wiped out
With only 2,000 births worldwide from egg freezing so far, the success rates are difficult to predict, but one thing is certain – egg freezing provides a groundbreaking opportunity for women to live their ideal lives on their own terms and timeline free from biological constraints.