With more and more women choosing to delay having children, it’s likely you’ve seen people sharing their egg freezing journeys on social media. Curious if you should be thinking about it too? You’re not alone. Let’s talk about some of the most common reasons people freeze their eggs, so you can decide if this is the right path for you.
First of all, what is egg freezing?
First things first, let’s talk about what freezing your eggs actually means. To keep it simple, egg freezing, or oocyte preservation, is a way to collect some of your eggs and preserve them for future use later. The process involves taking hormone medication to stimulate your ovaries, then undergoing a 30-minute medical procedure to retrieve the eggs.
If your brain is already spinning with questions, I hear you. When I chat with women interested in our program, these are some of the most common questions that I get:
Will freezing my eggs affect my ability to conceive in the future?
Long story short - nope! This is a very common misconception, but freezing your eggs doesn’t actually take away from your ovarian reserve. This is because the hormone medications involved in the egg retrieval process are essentially just telling your ovaries to allow all of the eggs released in a single cycle to mature, instead of just one. So rather than taking away from your ovarian reserve, egg freezing actually allows you to save some of the “extra” eggs that would have died off during your cycle! Pretty cool, right?
Is egg freezing safe?
While no medical procedure is totally risk-free, egg freezing is considered a highly safe procedure, and overall risk is minimal. One of the most-talked-about risks is something called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which is a condition where the ovaries can become swollen and painful in response to the hormone medications used during stimulation. However, research shows that the percentage of egg retrievals complicated by OHSS is now only 0.34% (down from 1.2% in 2014).
How much does egg freezing cost?
I’m not going to lie — egg freezing isn’t cheap, and it’s typically not covered by health insurance. The average cycle can cost anywhere from $9K - $15K, and that doesn’t even include the yearly storage fees.
At Cofertility, we know that the best time to freeze your eggs is often when you can least afford it, and we’re on a mission to give women egg freezing options that are accessible, empowering, and just plain better.
With our Split program, eligible women can freeze and store their eggs for up to 10 years entirely for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to a family that can’t otherwise conceive.
Our Keep program allows women to freeze and keep all of the eggs retrieved for their own future use, with support and discounts to lighten the financial load.
Why do people freeze their eggs?
So we’ve covered the “what”, now it’s time for the “why”. Like I mentioned earlier, egg freezing is a way to keep your reproductive options open for later by preserving younger, healthier eggs for future use. I spend hours of my week chatting one-on-one with our members and when I ask them why they’re interested in freezing their eggs, almost everyone says the same things:
“I’m going back to school and focusing on my career right now.”
“I want to travel more first.”
“I haven’t found my ‘person’ yet, and don’t want to feel rushed to settle down just based on my biology.”
“I’m not even sure if I want to have kids or not, so I want to keep my options open.”
Seeing a pattern here? Nearly everyone who works with us knows that even if right now is the best time biologically to have children, it’s just not something they’re ready for yet. While you’ll never find us referring to freezing your eggs as an “insurance policy,” it does allow optionality for owning your future fertility by being proactive and giving yourself choices later in life.
How to decide if egg freezing is right for you
Now that you’re equipped with a basic understanding of what egg freezing is and some of the reasons why one may choose to freeze your eggs, you’re probably wondering if you should be thinking about it, too.
Unfortunately that’s not something we can answer for you, but we are firm believers that everyone deserves options for their reproductive health that work for them.
However, as you’re thinking this through, here are some questions you can ask yourself to help guide your decision:
“When do I want to start having children?”
If your answer is any time after age 30, you may want to consider freezing eggs in your 20s so you have younger, healthier eggs to use if you need them.
“What personal goals do I want to accomplish before building my family?”
Though I’m a firm believer that moms can do it all, sometimes there are things you may want to get done before children are in the picture, and that’s okay too. So if you have big dreams to travel the world, finish your degree, save money, or work your way up the corporate ladder, and want to do that before having kids, freezing your eggs can help you do that more confidently.
“When do I see myself settling down with a partner?”
Don’t get me wrong, being a single mom by choice is totally an option too, but if you see yourself wanting to raise children with a partner by your side, freezing your eggs gives you more freedom to find your person on your own timeline, without feeling rushed by the pressure of family-building.
“Am I even sure that I want to have children?”
I know: loaded question. But the truth is, a lot of us are in our “prime” baby-making years and don’t even know if we want to have children at all yet. Thankfully, we live in a time where egg freezing is a possibility, which means no one has to feel rushed to make that decision before they feel 100% confident that they’re doing what feels right for them.
The bottom line
To keep it simple — yes, more and more people are freezing their eggs (there was a 46% increase in egg freezing cycles in 2021!), and it’s probably something you should think about, too. While the decision to freeze your eggs is a highly personal one, being educated on the process and hearing about other people’s experiences can help ensure you’re making the most informed decision possible. If you decide you’re ready to take the next step in your egg freezing journey — we’re here to help make sure it’s a process you can feel good about — every step of the way.