Egg freezing is a way for women who are healthy and have a fair reserve of viable, high quality eggs to extend their fertility. Once reserved for those dealing with a condition which would compromise their reproductive health, such as cancer, sickle cell anemia, autoimmune disease or gender diversity, egg freezing is now mainstream care for all women who wish to preserve their reproductive ability.
Many women who aren’t quite ready to have a baby, or haven’t met the right partner, consider cryopreservation as a way to increase the odds of having a successful pregnancy in the future. Unlike embryo freezing cryopreservation of your eggs doesn’t require sperm as the eggs will remain unfertilized until you decide it’s time.
Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is an ideal option for single women. In fact, according to a recent study by Yale University, single women make-up the largest group of those opting for elective or social, oocyte cryopreservation.
A Short Biology Lesson
Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have. Unlike sperm which replenishes, eggs are finite in number. Each year, the number of egg cells decreases and by the time a woman is in her mid-20s she has roughly 300,000 eggs in reserve.
It’s commonly understood that a woman’s fertility declines as she ages. As she approaches her late-30s that decline accelerates and the available eggs begin to diminish in quality. The closer a woman is to menopause the more rapid the decline. By the time a woman reaches menopause (the average age in the U.S. is 51.), she typically has fewer than 1,000 eggs remaining in her ovaries.
Additionally, as women age the risk of birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities increases. Miscarriage and difficulty conceiving are also higher for women as they approach their 40s. To ensure the healthiest, most viable eggs for cryopreservation, the majority of fertility experts agree the cut-off age is 38.
The Benefits of Freezing Your Eggs in Your 20s
Obviously, when it comes to your reproductive health, age does matter. What’s the best time to freeze your eggs? When they are in peak condition, and that’s when you are in your 20s. Most women in their 20s are taking a breath after four years of college, or entering a career, moving out on their own and beginning to establish their place in the world. In your 20s you’re finding out who you are and what you want out of life. Preserving your fertility may not be at the top of the list and it is not indicated for most 20 year olds.
Nevertheless, this is the optimum time for oocyte cryopreservation. Women in their 20s are healthy and their eggs are in excellent shape, as well. In your 20s you have a higher ovarian reserve so your physician can harvest more eggs improving your odds for a future healthy pregnancy. In fact, a recent study by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that when women younger than 34 froze their eggs, they had the highest chance for a successful pregnancy in the future.
In addition to higher ovarian reserve and better quality eggs, women in their 20’s have far fewer overall health issues which impact quality of eggs. Hormonal fluctuations and chronic conditions controlled by certain medications affect egg quality.
Oocyte cryopreservation treatment is intense and the healthier you are the better you respond and recover from the egg-retrieval process.
Who Should Strongly Consider Egg Freezing in Their 20s?
The answer is young women who are at high risk of losing their good quality eggs faster than others due to certain conditions. These high-risk conditions include medical problems, endometriosis, family history of endometriosis or premature menopause, PCOS patients with low egg reserve, family members with a history of low egg reserve or infertility treatment at a young age, and recurrent miscarriages.
Also, young women who were exposed to chemicals, significant pollution, toxins and extreme stress are at risk for losing their fertility potential at a young age. Young girls and women exposed to chemotherapy or radiation therapy will have low egg reserve in their 20s in most instances and should strongly consider egg freezing at a young age such as in their 20s.
One of the Top Benefits of Freezing Your Eggs in Your 20s
Almost every woman feels the pressure of dealing with their biological clock. It begins ticking when you reach your 30s and builds as years progress. For those who have healthy, cryogenically preserved eggs, the pressure is a little less gripping. You can breathe easier knowing you’ve taken the appropriate and responsible steps to preserve your fertility until you feel ready to begin your parenting journey.
Of course, you have questions regarding oocyte cryopreservation. Whether you are in your 20s or beyond, LA IVF will do everything to put your fertility concerns to rest. Our compassionate team strives to help you fulfill your dreams of a healthy, happy family. Contact LA IVF today for more information on oocyte cryopreservation or any of our fertility treatments.