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In recent years, the topic of egg freezing has been brought to the forefront when discussing fertility and pregnancy for those longing to be moms. With the option available, all the buzz may have you wondering if you should freeze your eggs in favor of postponing pregnancy, until the time is personally right for you.
But before you freeze your eggs for later use, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine, would caution you consider just how new egg freezing is. "It's basically just six years old," Minkin says, "and we cannot say it's very likely to succeed. So it's fine to try, but it's not an absolute insurance policy." The American Society For Reproductive Medicine states, "Even in younger women the chance that one frozen egg will yield a baby in the future is around 2-12 percent. Understanding that cryopreserved eggs are not a guarantee of a future baby, a woman should start trying to conceive as soon as she feels 'ready' and able."
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An older, more successful procedure for committed couples is freezing embryos, Minkin says. However, if you're set on freezing just your eggs, the next question you're likely asking is when you should do it. Your eggs, Minkin says, will still be in "pretty terrific" shape at about 30 years old. As you age, their quality will continue to deteriorate.
If you decide to freeze your eggs, your doctor will provide you with medications that will stimulate your ovaries and help them produce eggs. In an office setting, your doctor will lightly sedate you and retrieve your eggs, then freeze them until you're ready to use them. Freezing your eggs is expensive — think: about $10,000 upfront and hundreds of dollars each year to maintain them — and not all insurance policies cover the costs. So check with your insurance provider for an accurate assessment of what the procedure and subsequent storage might cost.