(BPT) – Do you want to have kids? For many, this question isn’t the easiest to answer. Whether you and your partner aren’t ready, if you haven’t found the “one,” or you wish to focus on your career for a bit before calling the stork, the idea of having a baby isn’t always black and white. No matter where you are in life, it’s important to understand your reproductive health and explore your options — because there are options! Egg freezing is one option that many women are seeking, and although it may seem scary to some, the technology offers women and families more flexibility in their pursuit of pregnancy.
Dr. Jaime M. Knopman, director of fertility preservation at CCRM Fertility New York identifies several reasons why a woman may elect to freeze her eggs:
You’re not getting any younger
Although you may plan on aging like a fine wine, the reality is, women can experience fertility issues as early as in their 20s. Fertility rates drastically decrease with age, as the number and quality of a woman’s eggs decreases over time. Dr. Knopman says, “As a woman’s ovary ages, she will have increasing numbers of eggs with chromosomal abnormalities. These chromosomal abnormalities are the main culprit for miscarriage and infertility in older women. At age 35, about half of a woman’s eggs are chromosomally normal. By the time a woman reaches 40, only around 10-15% of her eggs are chromosomally normal. This is why the younger you freeze your eggs, the better your chances are of having children using those eggs in the future.”
Single AF & haven’t met Mr. or Miss Right
Whether you’re single and ready to mingle or you just haven’t found your perfect match, having children may feel like a distant priority. According to recent research, single women (never married, no children) between 30–45 rank living independently (44%) and developing their career (34%) as their top two priorities. Having children ranked a lowly seventh on that list at 8%. While finding the one may take some time, your reproductive health is a bit more impatient. It’s no secret that the longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to start a family. If you’re still swiping left more than you’re swiping right, freezing your eggs will give you peace of mind and more time to find your match.
On the career grind
In this day and age, boss ladies are just about as common as our male leader counterparts. For those that are busy climbing the corporate and professional ladder, having children might have to wait. In a recent survey conducted by CCRM, results indicated 57% of women are interested in egg freezing because they’re either focused on their career or not ready to have kids. Family planning and career planning can be a delicate tightrope, and while many companies are making strides in maternity leave benefits, we can’t deny that starting a family is a lifestyle change. If you’re not quite ready to juggle kids, work, sleep and everything in between, but dream of it one day, freezing your eggs may be a great solution.
You just don’t want kids … YET
For couples in more serious relationships, pressure may start to mount as more friends begin to tie the knot and have kids. But that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. While it is more challenging to get pregnant as you move into your 30s, egg freezing can help you put those plans “on ice” for several years. In the same survey, CCRM found that almost two-thirds of women predict that they’ll thaw and use their eggs within one to five years of freezing them — so while you may not want to have kids ASAP, you can plan ahead for the day that you do.
Unfortunately, there are a number of health conditions that can impact female fertility. While infertility affects men and women equally — 40% of infertility cases are due to the female, 40% of infertility cases are due to the male and 20% of cases are unknown (for heterosexual couples), women need to be aware that conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can all lead to difficulties in conception. Dr. Knopman comments, “Some of these conditions may result in an accelerated loss of egg quantity, and as a result, egg freezing at a younger age may be warranted. Therefore, it’s important to not only share your personal history but also the reproductive histories of your mother and your grandmother. Women should talk to a fertility specialist to learn more about their clinical options.”
No matter what your reason is for freezing your eggs, it is important to choose an egg freezing clinic that partners with you throughout the entire process — from freezing to thawing and fertilization. Where you freeze matters, because one day you want those eggs to turn into a baby. A global pioneer in fertility science, research and advancement, CCRM delivers industry-leading outcomes and world-class care, partnering with each individual patient to develop custom-tailored analyses and treatments to ensure the best outcome possible. CCRM physicians retrieve, freeze and fertilize your eggs in the same facility, increasing your chances for a successful outcome. Step one is to seek a consultation to discuss your needs, expectations and the processes involved.