Egg Freezing, "Freezing" Your Future Children
Posted: Apr 21 2014
Egg freezing otherwise known as…oocyte cryopreservation is the new buzz word these days among single women in their 30s. Even celebrities such as Maria Menounos, Sophia Vergara, and Jennifer Love Hewitt have told reporters that they have done egg freezing. It is a widely acknowledged fact among fertility experts that female fertility starts to decline at approximately age 35, and then even faster after age 38.
What is Egg Freezing?
Egg freezing is basically the first half of an IVF cycle. In normal IVF, women take hormones, eggs are harvested, fertilized with their partners sperm, and then transferred back into the female’s uterus to ideally result in pregnancy. In egg freezing, a woman’s eggs get harvested – and then frozen. When the female decides she’s ready to use the eggs, the eggs may be defrosted and the 2nd half of the IVF cycle occurs then. The egg freezing procedure generally costs between $7,000-$13,000 not including medicine which can run between $2,000-$5,000.
Egg Freezing in 1st Person
We recently spoke with Sarah Elizabeth Richards who not only has been through the egg freezing process, but also is an acknowledged health journalist on the subject. Now in her 40s, Richards started thinking about egg freezing when she was 36. Richards says after a few long relationships that didn’t work out in her 20s and early 30s, and then meeting more men who just weren’t ready for kids, “I was in a Starbucks on my 36th birthday and I was thinking about kids and planning out when I might be able to have a child – and then a 2nd.” So that’s when Richards started thinking about egg freezing – which after investigating via her OB/GYN and seminars, she decided to go through with.
After freezing her eggs, Richards says “I feel like it opened up possibilities – made the future seem possible, whereas before it felt like the future was shutting down and I just didn’t know how to stop it.” And after several conversations with her friends about how egg freezing could change a woman’s life, Richards decided to write a book and recently published the book Motherhood Rescheduled - a narrative non-fiction book. Her new book tells the story of four women (including herself!) and their journeys to freeze their eggs and beyond. Richards says about her book: “I wanted to find that 1stwave of women who did egg freezing and find out what happened to them. “.
What Women Who Froze Eggs are Saying
Since publishing the book and also publishing numerous articles in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, and Slate, Richards has spoken to a lot of women who have gone through with the egg freezing procedure. Richards says many of the women she’s spoken to have voiced the following:
-Often feel tremendous relief – they feel positive again about their futures
-Often feel better about dating and are more focused (the fear was women would be less focused about dating – but Richards says she found the opposite happened. “when you put that much money and energy into freezing your eggs – it seems to develop into a more focused dating life”)
-Women think about and become more open to other ways of having kids
-Enjoy more years w/o anxiety
Where to go for Egg Freezing?
Richards says “go to a doctor that has experience in egg freezing. It’s great a lot of places are offering it now, but it’s still relatively new. You have a lot of centers that are really good – and a lot that aren’t. It costs so much money that you want to find center.” A couple of the most important questions to ask an egg freezing clinic is “how many babies do you have that have been born from egg freezing” and “how long have you been doing the egg freezing procedure”.
To learn more about Sarah Elizabeth Richards visit her website atwww.motherhoodrescheduled.com
To read a selection of Sarah Elizabeth Richards' articles on egg freezing, following are links to articles on Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, and Slate