Egg freezing is promoted as an empowering choice for ladies who need to cease the organic clock and enhance their probability of getting a child later in life. However they should realize it’s extra like a lottery than an insurance coverage coverage.
Fertility declines with age. To keep away from age-related infertility, girls more and more flip to elective egg freezing. Promoting on IVF clinic web sites and social media promote this as an insurance coverage coverage that enables girls to begin a household when the time is true for them.
However the actuality is there’s no assure of a child. The process is dear and never risk-free. Most girls want multiple egg assortment for an inexpensive probability of getting a child down the observe. And, for a spread of causes, many ladies gained’t use their saved eggs.
Sometimes, girls who freeze their eggs are nicely educated, financially safe single girls of their mid to late 30s. And opposite to the widespread stereotype that ladies freeze their eggs to advance their profession or for different causes to do with their private fulfilment, the commonest purpose is that they don’t have a companion or have a companion who’s unwilling to decide to parenthood or is “not prepared” to have youngsters.
Why girls select to freeze their eggs – new analysis
High quality of data on clinic web sites
An evaluation of the standard of the details about elective egg freezing on 21 Australian and New Zealand IVF clinic web sites confirmed poor high quality total and a whole lot of room for enchancment.
Just one clinic addressed the query about whether or not the info introduced on the web site had been primarily based on the clinic’s personal expertise or on revealed knowledge from different clinics.
Not one of the clinics clarified if the info they gave associated particularly to elective egg freezing, the place most ladies are of their mid to late 30s, or if the info associated to egg freezing within the context of egg donation, the place eggs are retrieved from youthful girls with better fertility potential.
Solely two web sites quoted the possibility of getting a child on account of elective egg freezing and solely six web sites offered details about price.
Since we all know individuals’s first port of name for well being info is the web, it’s doable this poor high quality info – mixed with the customarily upbeat and emotive pictures on clinic web sites – can provide girls a misunderstanding of what’s doable with elective egg freezing.
Egg freezing is on the up – however new analysis raises questions on how clinics promote
Possibilities of success
So, what’s the probability of getting a child with frozen eggs? These three numbers will largely decide your probability.
1) Your age while you freeze your eggs
To assist girls determine if and when to freeze their eggs, American scientists developed a prediction mannequin which reveals that for a 50%, 80% or 95% probability of a child from frozen eggs a lady aged 35 or much less must freeze six, 14, and 30 eggs respectively.
However for a lady aged 39, this goes as much as 15 eggs for a 50% probability, 33 eggs for an 80% probability and 70 eggs for a 95% probability.
2) The variety of eggs saved
Egg freezing includes a course of hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to provide a number of eggs, ultrasound and blood checks to watch the progress, and when the eggs are mature, retrieving them in a transvaginal ultrasound-guided process beneath mild anesthetic.
The retrieved eggs are saved in liquid nitrogen till the lady returns to make use of them.
So, what number of eggs can girls anticipate from every egg retrieval?
In accordance with knowledge from all IVF clinics on Victoria in 2020, the typical variety of eggs collected per egg retrieval was 13 for ladies aged lower than 35 years and ten for ladies aged 35-39 years.
If we apply these numbers to the mannequin, girls of their mid to late 30s will probably want no less than three egg retrievals for an 80% probability of getting a child from frozen eggs.
3) What number of cycles you’ll be able to afford?
Every egg retrieval course of prices between A$7,000 and $8,000 and in contrast to IVF, there is no such thing as a Medicare rebate.
Primarily based on the info above, a median 35-year-old girl can anticipate to pay $14,000-$16,000 and a median 38-year-old girl $21,000-$24,000 to retailer sufficient eggs for an 80% probability of a child.
And for those who return to make use of these eggs, you’ll need to pay to thaw them and inseminate them to create embryos. That course of will add 1000’s to the general price.
What occurs after freezing?
The longest follow-up research thus far appeared on the return fee amongst girls who had saved their eggs for greater than a decade. It discovered lower than 40% had returned to make use of their eggs.
Probably the most complete knowledge on what occurs when eggs are thawed comes from the USA, the place researchers calculated that for ladies beneath the age of 35, 41 eggs wanted to be thawed for one reside start. This elevated to 99 eggs for ladies aged between 38 and 40.
Half of ladies over 35 who desire a baby do not find yourself having one, or have fewer than they deliberate
Ladies want the details to make knowledgeable choices
Elective egg freezing is taking off as a reproductive selection, which girls are more and more turning to for a spread of causes. They deserve:
complete details about all the professionals and cons of elective egg freezing
data concerning the potential dangers, together with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a doubtlessly severe situation brought on by an extreme bodily response to the hormone stimulation
transparency across the clinic’s personal expertise and observe file
personalised estimates of what number of eggs they should freeze to have an inexpensive probability of getting a child down the observe.
Ladies want factual and life like details about what is feasible with elective egg freezing to make knowledgeable choices and handle their expectations.
Karin Hammarberg works for the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Remedy Authority
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