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Preserving Fertility for Later
Egg-freezing is typically used for women with cancer, but doctors say it can also be an option for women who are not ready for motherhood now but are certain they want children later.
"They need to know the options," Dr. J. Michael Putman said. "For a woman who is a career business woman who suddenly decides at 39 or 40, well I''d better freeze some eggs because at 44 I'm going to have a child, that's too late."
But even though the technology has improved, egg freezing has such a short track record that many doctors still consider it experimental, he said.
"We may successfully freeze them, we may thaw them successfully, we may fertilize them successfully and still may not have a successful pregnancy," he said.
Putnam, at Baylor Dallas, has done in vitro fertilization for more than 20 years and recently launched an egg-freezing program.
Tamara Metcalfe, 30, had her eggs harvested and frozen after she was diagnosed with a blood cancer. Facing treatments that could make her infertile, Metcalfe consulted with her family and pastor.
"I'm at peace with the cancer, but a lot of it is because I know my fertility is intact, my eggs are intact, and I'll have the chance to be a mom some day, no matter what else happens," she said.