Ever considered egg freezing? Dr Natasha Andreadis shares everything you need to know.
If having children is something that is important to you, then you may be thinking about your fertility and the best timeline for growing your family. While considering your fertility timeline can be daunting, fortunately, there are options.
If you’re not ready to have children just yet, egg freezing not only allows for fertility preservation but also gives you more choices for your reproductive future.
Here, Chill Egg Freeze’s Dr Natasha Andreadis is on hand to answer the most common questions about the process.
What are the top motivators for egg freezing?
For those who are thinking about freezing their eggs, there are a variety of factors that can offer motivation to do so.
Many consider the procedure as an investment in their future as it empowers individuals to have more control over their timelines and more immediate goals, allowing a delay on parenthood. For those who identify as part of the trans and gender diverse community, egg freezing offers preservation of fertility for when and if starting a family is a priority for them.
Egg freezing does provide a safety net that can help relieve the stress surrounding fertility and the decision to start a family when the time is right for you.
What is the optimum age to consider egg freezing? Is there an age limit?
While there’s no optimal age to freeze eggs, it is generally considered that 20s and early 30s is the best time. At the age of 35, egg quality and quantity begin to decline so freezing before this offers the best chance of having high quality eggs for future use.
What does the procedure involve?
The process requires the individual to undertake a number of specialist appointments, pathology screenings, ultrasounds, education, stimulation injections and medications in preparation for the egg retrieval procedure, which also requires an anaesthetic.
Are there any risks to be aware of?
Like any procedure, there are risks to be aware of before committing egg freezing: risks of bleeding, infection, injury to internal organs and blood vessels.
In less than 2% of cases, the body can over-respond to stimulation injections which can lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Although this can be a serious condition, it can also be managed with appropriate medical intervention.
It’s important to keep in mind that depending on the number of eggs collected and their quality, it may not be feasible to freeze and bank them. These cases are assessed circumstantially, and the individual may choose to undergo another treatment cycle where recommended.
Is there a time limit on egg storage?
The National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines indicate a maximum storage period of 10 years. When the 10-year period approaches and the eggs have not been used, the individual has the opportunity to apply to extend the storage date, donate their eggs to others who may need them or arrange for disposal.
How much does egg freezing cost? Are there ongoing costs for storage?
Egg freezing can cost around $6750. The initial six months of egg storage is complimentary with a recurring fee every six months following until the time the eggs have been used, donated or disposed.
Egg freezing specialist Chill Egg Freeze has partnered with humm to offer flexible payment plans that make this more achievable.