Ask Dr. Renee: Should I Freeze My Eggs?

June 25, 2014  |  

Are you working the career of your dreams? Are you too busy to date?  Are you having trouble getting married and starting a family? This is a scenario way to familiar to many women these days. We are so busy climbing the corporate ladder or building our businesses that we forget to have a family. This is where a big question comes to mind, when should I freeze my eggs? There are several factors to consider before freezing your eggs. Are you a good candidate, can you afford it and are there any options

What are the pros and cons of egg freezing?

The biggest con is that there is no guarantee that once the eggs are thawed that implantation will be successful and result in the birth of a healthy baby. Egg preservation is not covered by insurance because it is considered to be an elective procedure. Currently, it can cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to freeze your eggs, thaw the eggs and finally implant them in your uterus. Most people do not have success on the first round of implantation hence the rising costs. In order to prepare your body for the egg preservation you have to take hormones, which can have a whole host of side effects.

In regards to pros of the egg freezing process it gives women who may otherwise not have had the ability to conceive a child the opportunity to do so. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can forever damage eggs and make a young woman infertile. Once you are a cancer survivor if you have preserved your eggs you may be able to conceive a child.

At what age should I consider freezing my eggs?

Freezing your eggs is usually reserved for women who are likely to have fertility issues in the future. When girls are born they have all of their eggs, boys produce new sperm throughout their life. Women in their 20s will be fertile for many years, so unless there is a known health condition you do not need to worry about freezing your eggs. Women in their early to mid 30s are not planning to start a family in the next few years are the best candidates for this procedure. Once you enter your 40s your chances of a positive outcome from this procedure are unlikely. You may still have eggs but after they have been frozen they will not likely survive the thawing process.

There are some risks?

The most common risks involve complications due to over stimulation of the ovaries to produce many eggs, potential bleeding and/or infection from the egg retrieval. Although these risks are extremely rare, it is important to know exactly what risks you are taking by choosing this procedure to start your family.

Are you a good candidate for egg freezing?

As I mentioned earlier not everyone should consider egg preservation because of your age. This is an expensive procedure involving daily hormone shots, minor outpatient surgery, and emotional stress. It is important if you are in your 30s and considering choosing this option for starting a family, you need to have your ovarian reserve checked. Ovarian Reserve is the capacity of the ovary to provide eggs for fertilization. FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) level is the blood test to check ovarian reserve.

If having a family is important to you, consider these pros and cons of freezing your eggs. If this is not the best option to help you start a family, consider exploring your options further.If you have any other questions concerning this matter or anything else related to your health please do not hesitate to Ask Dr. Renee.

Twitter: @AskDrRenee


Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on Sirius XM/ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood.



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