egg_freezing_facts
Health

Part 1: Seven Facts About Egg Freezing

This past month several technology companies made significant announcements about egg freezing and fertility treatments. Apple and Facebook policies have created a lot of buzz in the fertility and infertility world. In this day and age when 1 in 6 face infertility, egg freezing facts should be part of your conversation with a doctor.

egg_freezing_facts
A demonstration of IVF. IVF is a procedure where egg and sperm are harvested and placed in a petri dish to do the job they need to do (create an embryo). Then an embryo is transferred into the uterus.

First Modern Family star Sophia Vergara disclosed her intention to freeze her eggs. Then massive high tech companies like Apple and Facebook said they would chip in to help cover the cost of egg freezing, a procedure that provides a means of preserving a woman’s fertility.

Technology Companies Driving Fertility Conversation

Apple and Facebook recently both declared they would cover the cost of egg freezing up to $20,000 for their employees. That’s a significant announcement and an important one in the fertility and infertility world. When 1 in 6 face infertility egg freezing is an important part of fertility conversations.

But what are the egg freezing facts? What do you need to know about this procedure?

An Egg Freezing Info Night

I recently travelled to Vancouver to attend an egg freezing information session hosted by Genesis Fertility Centre. For this series, I spoke with some patients you will meet in the next three stories. But I am starting here with seven egg freezing facts. Let’s cover some basics first.

Seven Egg Freezing Facts:

1. First the clinic will stimulate your ovaries with fertility medications. Eggs will then be removed, frozen and stored.

2. This process was initially used for cancer patients. For cancer patients using egg freezing, eggs are removed prior to radiation and chemotherapy. Radiation and chemotherapy damages eggs and sperm. Many people experience remission and lead a full life after cancer treatment. Fertility and infertility conversations must happen at reproductive age and younger, when they are diagnosed. (I am sharing a story about a cancer patient who recently undertook the procedure at Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver in Part 2.)

3. The cost – Egg freezing costs $7,000 to $10,000 in Canada. (That doesn’t include transfer to the mother when she is ready to attempt IVF, nor does it include the thawing process.)

4. Egg freezing is no longer considered an experimental assisted reproductive technology treatment. The experimental label was lifted in 2012.

5. There are two different ways to freeze eggs – slow freezing and vitrification. Vitrification, flash freezing, the newer technology has been studied and it shows that the clinical pregnancy rate with vitrification is four times higher than that with slow freezing.

6. An Australian doctor, Dr. Christopher Chen reported the first ever pregnancy achieved with frozen eggs back in 1986.

7. The ideal time to get eggs frozen is debatable in fertility circles. Fact – Egg quality is best under 30 years of age, but if frozen before age 30, the eggs might not be used. Many believe the ideal time to freeze your eggs is between 30 to 35. In fact, egg quality diminishes dramatically after 35.

Egg Freezing Facts:

These egg Freezing facts are important to know. This is not a taboo topic anymore. In fact, fertility preservation should be a part of proactive fertility conversations with your doctor.

Although I was not compensated for this post, I was flown to BC for an event about egg freezing facts and received a few other perks. My opinion is all my own.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

4 Comments

  • Lindsay

    A good friend of mine is donating eggs to a friend. I had no idea the process of extracting the eggs was so intense. I was also amazed at how much the process costs. I’m not a big fan of Apple & Facebook’s new policy: I’d prefer to see more support for a home/life balance for male and female workers!

  • Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama)

    Wow, 1 in 6 face infertility issues?! I had no idea. Really makes me thank my lucky stars we did not have to resort to this. It is great the option is there for those who need it though. It would be great if there were a way to make it less costly for those who really want this..