Life today is busier than ever, with more opportunities (and distractions) than our grandparents ever imagined. So one of the major life events that used to occur relatively early — getting pregnant and having children — increasingly gets pushed back. After all, with all of the advanced fertility options available to both women and men, why rush to start your family?
Although amazing new state-of-the-art fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), do allow women to become pregnant even past the ages of 35-40, the longer you wait, the harder it gets. One reason is that the millions of eggs you were born with decrease with every passing year. Your ovarian reserve (the number of eggs available for fertilization) is 90% lower by age 30 than it was at birth, and you have just around 3% of your original eggs left by age 40.
In addition, your eggs age, just like you do. So while you may still have hundreds or even thousands of eggs left, only a portion of them are healthy enough to be fertilized, implant in the uterus, and develop into a baby.
Put’em on ice
If you want to conceive and give birth to your own children, but aren’t ready to do so now, one option is to freeze your young and healthy eggs, a process also known as oocyte cryopreservation. Freezing your eggs while you’re still young increases your chances of using viable eggs as you age or undergo fertility treatments.
So when should you take time from your busy day to visit us at Columbia Fertility Associates — conveniently located in Washington, DC; Bethesda, Maryland; and Arlington, Virginia? Our fertility experts recommend an egg-freezing consultation under the following conditions:
You want children, but not just yet
If you’re planning to have a family but don’t have all of the pieces in place yet, freezing your eggs gives you one less thing to stress about. The earlier you freeze your eggs, the more likely you are to have a successful pregnancy when you’re ready. If you’re age 30 or under, count on freezing at least 10-15 eggs for each pregnancy you hope to achieve, and if you’re older we may recommend freezing more.
You have cancer or another serious illness
Chemotherapy and radiation therapies that are strong enough to kill cancer cells may also negatively affect your fertility. If you have a condition or disease that may impair your ability to become pregnant one day, talk to our experts about freezing your eggs before you start medical treatments.
You’re undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF)
If you’re currently undergoing IVF, we may recommend freezing your eggs if your partner isn’t able to produce sufficient sperm during that cycle. Freezing your eggs lets you try for implantation at a later time without undergoing a subsequent egg-retrieval procedure.
If you’ve been thinking about freezing your eggs, don’t think alone. Get expert advice from our fertility specialists by calling today or using the online booking form.