Should I Freeze My Eggs?
As a career driven woman should I be giving this more thought?
I've recently been mulling around in my head whether or not I should freeze my eggs? There wasn't a specific reason as to why this thought popped into my brain other than maybe the awareness of my biological clock and the fact that I have no plans of "settling down" anytime soon.
I've always been extremely career oriented and even to this very day I can't tell you one way or another if I want kids or to even get married. Quite honestly, because I'm no where near that part of my life, I've taken those thoughts and placed them in some corner of my mind to deal with later.
Growing up I've always known that IF I got married it wouldn't be until later in life and IF I had kids it wouldn't be until my mid maybe even late 30s, possibly 40s. I know there are people out there gasping at the thought but I know I'm not alone in this. More women, especially Millennial women, are waiting to have children until later in life due to a number of reasons. My personal reason, I want my career first.
So in thinking about this, I did some research into what it would look like if I did or if I didn't do this.
IF I DID
- One it wouldn't be cheap and it's a process. Don't faint, but costs for this procedure can run anywhere between $7,500 to $12,000 per harvesting round, sometimes you don't get enough good eggs the first go around (not to make you sound like a damn chicken). Plus the cost of medications I would have to take in preparation, which is sometimes covered by your insurance, and the roughly $800 a year to store the eggs.
- If I'm serious about freezing my eggs doctors say, "the sooner the better." The American Pregnancy Association says egg quality and quantity begin to decline in your 30s and 40s. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, egg freezing is best done in your 20s and 30s and shouldn't be a done if you are over 38 years old.
- It would give me piece of mind. I know this sounds weird since I don't know if I want to have children but I do know myself well enough to know that my mind can change. So, in essence, I'm asking myself how much is it worth to me to be able to have the option to change my mind? Plus this is a nice backup plan if I find that I've waited too long to have kids.
IF I DIDN'T
- There are plenty of women who have been able to give birth in their late 30s and even well into their 40s. But don't let those facts mislead you too much since the chances of a miscarriage are 20-30% higher for women between 35-45 years old.
- The odds aren't good if I try to have a kid at 40. In an article by Essential Baby, a Dr. Peter Illingworth says, "a 33-year-old, with no underlying issues such as endometriosis or fibroids, has an 85 to 90 percent chance of conceiving within 12 months. By age 36 or 37, that has dropped to 70 percent, then there is a steep decline at age 40 when her chances are only 45 to 50 percent."
- Since quality and quantity of eggs decrease as we age so does the success rate of the ever popular IVF treatment. In the same Essential Baby article, Dr. Illingworth says, "a 35-year-old woman has a 30 to 40 percent chance of a live-born child from an IVF cycle. At 36, her chances are 25 to 30 percent and at 38, this drops to 20 to 25 percent. By 40, her chances of a live-born child from an IVF cycle are only 15 to 20 percent."
So I'm pretty positive no one will fault me in saying that I think it's lame there is a time limit put on women to have children but men can retain their potency well into their later years. Shit is ridiculous - insert eye roll.
Now that I've stated the obvious, in all seriousness I believe this is something worth thinking about. Especially if you're like me and know you're not in a hurry to have children but would still like the option. Of course, every woman is different so it's important to visit your doctor to get the details on what is right for you and your body.