Egg freezing has become all the rage in the fertility world as of late. You’ve heard about it. You may even have considered doing it yourself.
But is egg freezing really the best solution for preserving fertility?
Although sperm and embryos have proven easy to freeze, the human egg is the largest cell in the body and contains a significant amount of water. When the freezing process takes place, ice crystals may form that will destroy the cell. Embryologists have learned the egg must be dehydrated and replace the water with an “anti-freeze” prior to freezing in order to prevent ice crystal formation. They have also learned the shell of the egg becomes hardened when frozen, and sperm must be injected with a needle to fertilize the egg to assist with fertilization after the egg is thawed.
The current best method for freezing human eggs is called vitrification, a nearly instantaneous freezing process.
What is involved in egg freezing?
In order to retrieve eggs for freezing, a woman undergoes the same hormone-injection process as in-vitro fertilization. The only difference is that following egg retrieval, the eggs are frozen for a period of time before they are thawed, fertilized and transferred to the uterus as embryos.
Many women in America are uninformed about their own reproductive biology. Every woman is born with their life-time supply of eggs (ovarian reserve). The viability of the human egg begins to rapidly diminish after the age of 30. The inability to produce healthy, viable eggs often results in reduced pregnancy rates and higher numbers of miscarriages in women over the age of 35.
For women over 40, getting pregnant is only half the battle as miscarriage rates over 40 are 50% and rise quickly with each passing year.
When you choose to freeze eggs you are simultaneously choosing to create more embryos in the future. You may create embryos with “Mr. Right” or you might end up using a sperm donor.
There are more than 1,000,000 remaining embryos in frozen storage right now. Why not consider receiving donated embryos in the future rather than enduring the egg-retrieval-freezing process? Embryos are already created and waiting in frozen storage.
To learn more about embryo adoption and donation, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.