Preserving Fertility for Later in Life
Egg freezing is an exciting and potentially “life changing” assisted reproductive procedure offered at Reproductive Care Center's Utah fertility clinic for women wishing to preserve their fertility. In our opinion, egg freezing technology has improved to the point where egg freezing, with appropriate counseling and informed consent, may be considered for single women desiring to preserve fertility (prior to age 38 but the earlier the better).
Fertility naturally declines in women as they age culminating in the menopause. The decline is due to decreases in egg quality. Many women are now waiting to establish their careers before starting a family. Couples are also waiting longer to marry and have children. Therefore, the egg quality in many of these women declines to the point where pregnancy cannot be achieved using their eggs.
Donor egg IVF is currently the primary means that most women with diminished ovarian reserve use to become pregnant. We have an active and very successful donor egg program in Utah.
When a woman decides to use egg freezing, her eggs are retrieved after ovarian stimulation with fertility drugs, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These drugs cause the ovary to produce multiple eggs by directly stimulating follicular development. The eggs are then frozen for use in the future.
If eggs are frozen when a woman is younger (preferably before 38 years of age), then used for IVF at a later time, the mothers genetic makeup (DNA in her frozen eggs) will be present in the child. If the husband's sperm is used the child will have the genetic makeup of both parents.
When ready to attempt pregnancy, she undergoes an IVF cycle using her frozen eggs. A healthy woman can support a pregnancy well into her late forties and early fifties. The main limiting factor to pregnancy in older women is poor egg quality, which is hopefully avoided by using her "young" frozen/thawed eggs.
While improving, egg freezing is still in its infancy and the ASRM strongly cautions women considering it as a way to routinely avoid egg decline due to aging. The Society urges women to consider the cost, chances of success, clinical history, and many other factors.
If you would like more information about egg freezing, please call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists.