When the process of oocyte cryopreservation (more commonly known as freezing eggs) was developed in the 1980s, it was reserved for women suffering from serious medical conditions that could impact their fertility later in life. Traditionally, women opting to freeze their eggs were in their mid-to late 30s However, in recent years, companies marketing egg freezing services have been aggressively targeting younger women, selling the procedure not as a means of last resort to start a family but instead as another way women can focus on self-care.
This switch from being an experimental treatment to being an elective procedure is being presented by some clinics as a way for women to empower themselves and take control of their futures. And, this marketing approach seems to be working. In fact, 23 times as many women froze their eggs in 2017 as in 2009.
Some medical professionals argue that this approach plays on and exploits women’s fears and may lead to a false sense of hope. These doctors believe that women considering egg donation as a form of self-care should be presented with all of the relevant information about the procedure, the cost, the likelihood that a frozen egg will result in a future pregnancy, and about fertility and the normal age-related decline before making decisions to proceed with the procedure.
Freezing eggs can be prohibitively expensive – to the tune of $15,000 to $20,000 per cycle, with most women undergoing two cycles. However, there is no guarantee that a frozen egg will result in a live birth. There is also evidence that the vast majority of frozen eggs are never used, with the usage rate ranging from 3% to 9%.
To be sure, there are good reasons for women to freeze their eggs and doing so offers hope to many women and families. If you are considering freezing your eggs, you can protect yourself by understanding the various factors before moving forward.
At The Surrogacy Law Center, our thorough contracts also establish the intent of the parties regarding their rights, identify the parties’ financial responsibility, and ensure all parties are aware of the importance of informed consent, providing our clients with further peace of mind as they navigate their third party assisted reproduction journeys. Contact us to learn more!