While in theory, the idea of egg freezing would have many raising their hands to give this a try, practically speaking it may be more complicated. There are real-world factors to consider: Do I need to freeze my eggs? Will I actually need them down the line? Am I a good candidate? And if so, would it actually fit into my budget, and are the logistics really feasible?
No need to wonder. Here’s what you need to know to make egg freezing possible in reality and the sort of programs where you can bring this to fruition.
Affordable egg freezing programs
We at Cofertility are dedicated to the idea that egg freezing should be more accessible. To make it possible for more of those who are interested, we have designed two different programs that prioritize different aspects of egg freezing. Take our quiz to see if you qualify for these programs.
Paying for keeps
With our “Keep” program, it’s about maximizing the number of eggs that you freeze, geared to enabling many people to be able to answer the question, “Can I freeze my eggs?” with a big, “Yes.”
As a member in this program, you get access to discounted prices we’ve negotiated with clinics and pharmacies, as well as a community of women also freezing their eggs at the same time. With this Keep program we give more leeway on exactly who can participate. While we are aware that research shows that fertility starts to decrease considerably after age 35, you can still take part in the program as long as you are under age 40.
This is egg freezing with real world families in mind, with steps taken to make fees more affordable. The idea is to lighten the load and to make budgeting for egg freezing that much easier, while bringing a little more joy and positivity to the process
The Split cycle
With our Split program, it’s all about taking budgeting out of the equation altogether, while helping another family.
As a Split program member, if you qualify, you don’t have to set money aside for these burdensome costs at all – they are free as part of the program, including up to ten-years of storage. In return, you give half of your retrieved eggs from a cycle to someone who would be otherwise unable to conceive. The family receiving the donated eggs pays for all the costs to freeze and store your eggs, for their use to build a family now, and your use in the future.
But, because we are splitting the number of eggs here, every single one counts that much more. So, we need to be more stringent in determining who can become a Split member.
Important X factors
One of the factors that we weigh heavily for the Split program is age. In order to participate, you cannot be over age 34. That’s because data shows that, on average, those over 35 may not respond to fertility medication as well and therefore may not produce as many eggs. Also, research shows that, unfortunately, egg quality declines with age.
Given the amount of time it may take to do initial testing and to match you with an intended parent, we have aligned our policy with ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) guidance on this and limit membership here to those who have not yet turned 34. This way if there’s a hiccup along the way, you won’t have to miss out — there should still be sufficient time to participate in the program.
Another factor to consider is what’s known as your anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels. These levels signal how responsive your ovaries are likely to be to medication given to stimulate them to produce multiple eggs. If this number is pretty high, it usually means that your ovaries will respond well to stimulation.
If at the time of initial screening, your ovarian reserve appears low based on your ultrasound and bloodwork, you, unfortunately, will not be eligible for the Split program, although you can still become a Keep member and achieve your goals that way. The ASRM guidance underscores the importance of considering biomarkers that indicate a donor’s potential ovarian reserve as part of the selection process. Scientists have found the AMH serum range of 2.20 to 6.8 ng/ml to be the one that research predicts will show if someone has enough ovarian reserve. This indicates how you will likely respond during an egg freezing cycle.
No matter your ovarian reserve, you can still freeze your eggs. You just may not qualify for our Split program. That’s because we want to ensure that enough eggs are produced in the cycle to make it worthwhile for everyone after the eggs are divided, without your feeling that you’ve come up short and won’t be happy unless you do another cycle.
If you’re among those who qualify though, as many in their fertility prime may be able, this can be a golden opportunity. Feel free to read more about qualifications for joining our Split program.
There is, of course, also the question of where you’ll need to go to make all this happen.
If you’re a Split member, your initial physical screening takes place after you are matched with an intended parent. This includes some blood work and a vaginal ultrasound, which helps determine if this program will work for you, and will likely take place somewhere between where you and the intended parent’s locale. If any travel is needed though, our team will help you to make this happen, doing the necessary organizing. But monitoring for the cycle itself can be done at a local clinic right in your own area.
Meanwhile, Keep members have the flexibility to do the testing as well as the cycle locally, where it’s most convenient.
Can you freeze your eggs?
So, is this something that could practically work for you? Both of our programs are designed to make this feasible for a wide-variety of women. We try to keep costs down for Keep members while offering added flexibility to pursue their egg freezing goals. Meanwhile, for Split members the financial barriers are removed altogether.
Hopefully, this helps you to see how, practically speaking, you too can raise your hand up high and answer the question, “Can you freeze your eggs?” with a giant, yes, to make egg freezing in reality.