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When is the right time to freeze your eggs?

When is the right time to freeze your eggs?

17 June 2024

When is the right time to freeze your eggs?

In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals prioritize career goals, personal development, and other life pursuits before considering starting a family. Egg freezing offers a solution to preserve fertility options for those who wish to delay child birth. Understanding the impact of age on fertility is crucial in determining the optimal time to freeze eggs.

Understanding the Impact of Age on Fertility 

Fertility naturally declines with age, primarily due to a decrease in both the quantity and quality of eggs a woman has. From a peak in the early 20s, fertility rates start to decline more noticeably after the age of 30. By the time a woman reaches her mid-30s, egg quality and quantity decline more rapidly, affecting her ability to conceive naturally.

If you have family history of early menopause you may consider egg freezing earlier.

  • Egg quantity: Females are born with a finite number of eggs, which decrease in quantity over time.
  • Egg quality: As women age, the eggs that remain are less likely to be genetically normal, resulting in a decreased chance of successful fertilization and implantation.

Understanding these factors is essential for individuals considering egg freezing as a viable option.

Benefits of Egg Freezing

Egg freezing may be because of medical reasons where freezing is done before cancer treatment or any other treatment which has potential to reduce fertility is planned. Here we are discussing social egg freezing where egg freezing is done to delay pregnancy planning because of social reasons like unavailable partner, or career goals.

Egg freezing offers several advantages, including:

  • Delaying childbirth: Freezing eggs allows individuals to defer family planning while pursuing their professional or personal goals.
  • Maintaining fertility options: By preserving eggs at a younger age, individuals can protect their reproductive potential for future use.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that eggs are preserved can offer emotional and mental reassurance regarding future fertility needs.

Optimal Age for Egg Freezing 

The optimal age range for egg freezing typically falls between the late 20s and early 30s. During this time, a woman’s egg quality and quantity are generally at their peak, increasing the chances of successful retrieval and future use. While fertility rates decline with age, egg freezing during this window can offer more favorable results.

However, the decision to freeze eggs is highly individualized. Factors such as lifestyle, medical history, and personal goals also play a significant role in determining the right time.

Factors to Consider

Several lifestyle and medical factors may influence the decision to freeze eggs:

  • Lifestyle choices: Factors such as stress, nutrition, and exercise can affect fertility outcomes. For instance, maintaining a balanced diet and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can promote better reproductive health.
  • Medical conditions: Conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis can impact fertility and should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Women with these conditions may face additional challenges in achieving successful egg freezing and later conception.
  • Personal goals: Career planning, relationship status, and financial stability are essential considerations in deciding when to freeze eggs. If one prioritizes pursuing a career and other life goals, egg freezing can offer the flexibility to plan for a family later on.

The Egg Freezing Process

The egg-freezing process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: A fertility specialist will discuss the procedure, potential outcomes, and individual circumstances.
  2. Ovarian stimulation: Hormonal treatments are administered to stimulate the ovaries and encourage the growth of multiple eggs. This process may take around 10-14 days, and during this period, hormone levels and egg growth are monitored.
  3. Monitoring: Regular check-ups and ultrasounds track the progress of egg development. Hormone levels in the blood may also be monitored to assess the egg maturation.
  4. Egg retrieval: Once the eggs are ready, a minor surgical procedure, called transvaginal aspiration, retrieves the eggs from the ovaries.
  5. Freezing: The retrieved eggs are frozen and stored in a specialized facility for future use.

This entire process typically takes a few weeks from start to finish.

Post-Freezing: Storage and Thawing 

After the egg retrieval and freezing, the eggs are stored at extremely low temperatures in cryopreservation tanks. When the individual is ready to use the frozen eggs, they can be thawed and fertilized using advanced techniques, such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), to create embryos for implantation. The success rates of thawing and fertilizing frozen eggs have significantly improved with advancements in technology.

It is important to know that no matter how many or good quality eggs are frozen, they cannot guarantee healthy pregnancy and childbirth. How many eggs on an average lead to live birth depends on your age. You should discuss with your doctor.

Emotional and Psychological Aspects

Egg freezing can come with a mix of emotions, from excitement and hope to anxiety and uncertainty. Understanding these feelings and seeking professional support is essential. Fertility counselors and support groups can help individuals navigate the emotional journey, offering coping strategies and reassurance.

Common concern include:

  • Expectation of success: The pressure to succeed can be high, and managing expectations is vital to prevent stress and anxiety.

Seeking psychological support and counseling can help address these concern and offer strategies for managing emotions during the process.

Conclusion

Understanding age and fertility is essential in determining the optimal time to freeze eggs. Egg freezing offers a valuable solution for individuals who wish to delay family planning while pursuing other life goals. If you are considering egg freezing, consulting with a fertility specialist can provide personalized insights and guide you through the process.

At Bavishi Fertility Institute, our team of experienced specialists is dedicated to helping you make informed choices about your reproductive health. We understand the importance of personalized care and support throughout the entire egg freezing journey. Reach out to us today to explore your options and take the next step toward securing your future family planning goals.

Author Bio

Dr. Parth Bavishi

Dr. Parth Bavishi, MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, brings over 12 years of invaluable work experience to his role as Director of Bavishi Fertility Institute, leading a group of IVF clinics committed to helping couples realise their dreams of parenthood. 

Bavishi Fertility Institute is dedicated to provide customised and personalised treatments which are simple, safe , smart and successful. Bavishi Fertility Institute works with success and satisfaction for all at heart. Providing an ideal blend of professional treatment and personalised care.

Dr Parth had special training in infertility at Bavishi fertility Institute, the Diamond Institute, USA, and the HART Institute, Japan.

Dr. Bavishi is a distinguished expert in his field. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Bavishi is the author of the acclaimed book, ‘Your Miracle in Making: A Couple’s Guide to Pregnancy,’ offering invaluable insights to couples navigating the complexities of fertility. He loves to empower patients to make the correct choice by education both online and offline .

His exceptional contributions have earned him the prestigious Rose of Paracelsus award from the European Medical Association. Dr Parth has been an invited faculty at many national and international conferences.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Dr. Bavishi is an avid traveller who finds solace in exploring new destinations. He also enjoys engaging his mind with brainy puzzles, always seeking new challenges and solutions outside of the medical realm.

FAQs

Success rates for egg freezing vary based on age and ovarian reserve. Generally, younger individuals have higher success rates. Egg freezing performed during the late 20s to early 30s offers the most favorable outcomes in terms of egg quality and retrieval.

While the focus is often on female age, a male partner’s age can also play a role. Men over 40 might take longer to conceive with a partner, even if she used frozen eggs at a younger age. There’s also a slight increase in the risk of miscarriage if the male partner is older.

Yes, aging affects hormone levels. Older individuals may have increased levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and decreased levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), which can impact egg quality and ovarian response during the stimulation phase. The age at which you use frozen eggs has minimal to no impact.

It’s not necessarily too late. While success rates may be lower compared to your 20s, egg freezing can still be a viable option. We recommend consulting a fertility specialist at Bavishi to discuss your individual situation and assess your ovarian reserve. Most women who freeze their eggs are in their mid 30s. However earlier you freeze the better results.

Early menopause can impact fertility. Talking to a genetic counselor and your doctor can help you understand your risk factors. If there’s a significant concern, freezing your eggs proactively might be a good option.

While freezing eggs is possible at any age, the quality and quantity of eggs decline significantly after 35. This can significantly reduce your chances of a successful pregnancy later using frozen eggs.

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