This might sound a little like “The Bride Of Frankenstein meets Infertility,” but the medical technology now exists to extract a woman’s ovary from her body, freeze it and put it back in years later when she’s ready to have kids. To someone who spent the first 36 years of her life completely ignoring these tiny reproductive organs (and then expected them to work perfectly on demand as my biological clock’s ticking grew louder), this breakthrough sounds like having all your eggs stored in one very safe basket.
Sherman Silber, M.D., a fertility doctor with The Infertility Center Of St. Louis pioneered the ovarian transplant procedure. It began as a way to help cancer patients preserve their fertility before damaging chemotherapy treatments, but it is now being offered to women who want to bank their ovarian tissue in order to retain the option of having children later in life. Silber has done 140 ovarian tissue transplants, and back when I was chasing babies, I would have loved to have had this high-tech alternative to shooting myself full of fertility drugs and laying eggs by the meager half dozen.
Young women have a number of decisions to make about their own fertility. When a woman is not ready to have a child, fertility preservation provides a way to ensure that she’ll have her own eggs available in the future. Another consideration, is helping other couples through egg donation. While the processes are similar, the goals are different. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering egg freezing vs. egg donation.
Written in Partnership with HRC Fertility, December 29, 2015
You’re a woman over the age of 35. You’re fertile. You’ve had one child and you want to have to have at least one more. But you know that fertility declines with age. You might want to consider “advanced family planning.”
Advanced family planning, as Dr. Michael Feinman calls it, is in essence fertility preservation for couples who want to have several children. “These women are over 35, they’re not infertile and they want more than two or even three children. They reason that if they get pregnant now, by the time they try again they could be too old to get pregnant. So they store PGD tested embryos that they created with their husband,” says Feinman, a fertility doctor with HRC Fertility in California.
If you are considering egg freezing to preserve your fertility, but you’re still not sure it’s right for you, ask these four questions: Why freeze my eggs now?; How many eggs should I freeze?; Should I freeze my eggs or should I freeze embryos?; What if I don’t use all my frozen eggs?
A growing number of women are turning to egg freezing as a way to preserve their fertility. Despite this, it is common for many women to be unfamiliar with egg freezing. Knowing more about the egg freezing process and its use can help women determine if fertility preservation can address their needs.
Dr. John Couvaras from IVF Phoenix discusses fertility preservation with egg freezing. When you consider egg freezing, one question that comes up is how many eggs should I freeze. Many people are unaware of how many eggs are typically required to achieve one live birth.