Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

December 12, 2018
Katherine Flemming

It's a question that will soon be as commonplace as ordering coffee.

Egg freezing offers women the chance to delay their future by locking in a safety net of eggs. Up until not too long ago, women were freezing their eggs for health reasons, such as undergoing chemotherapy or having severe endometriosis or recurring ovarian cysts that made carrying a pregnancy to term very challenging. In many cases, women had to freeze their eggs during a stressful period, without taking too much time to consider their options.

Kourtney Kardashian, 39, recently talked openly about freezing her eggs. She said she was doing it for "safety" for her future. With the hormones surging through her system (women are required to take medication to help simulates ovulation and increases the amount of hormones in the body to support the growth and release of a mature egg), she said,"It's just very emotional, I think that's the hard part."

And she couldn't be more spot on. It's an emotional rollercoaster, even before the hormones hit your system. However, there's a shift away from women who are freezing their eggs because they have to, and women who freeze them because they can.

"Egg freezing is a serious medical procedure, but the women coming into our clinic are not doing it as a result of something sad," says Kristen MancinelliSenior Director of Education and Marketing at Extend Fertility. These women are part of a movement called social egg freezing, which is sometimes also referred to as elective egg freezing. "Women who are coming into our clinic are in a different frame of mind," she says. "They don't have a diagnosis that is leading to their decision to freeze their eggs." (such as one of the conditions listed above). At Extend Fertility, they focus exclusively on egg freezing (as opposed to additional procedures such as sperm sperm donation, IVF, and IUI), so they can cut costs on things like diagnostics. That helps streamline the process, as all of the women coming in are visiting Extend for the same reason.

 A few more reasons to freeze your eggs:

1. You want a baby, but you want a partner, too. You just haven't found the right one yet. According to a new study from American Society for Reproductive Medicine, many women are leaning that way. "Planned OC (oocyte preservation)  may allow women time to establish suitable relationships or life circumstances to prepare for having and raising children. It reduces the pressure to have a child when not yet psychologically, socially, or situationally ready."

2. You're considering donating your eggs...at some point. For some women, making a life-changing decision to donate your eggs is a serious amount of pressure, introspection, self-examination, etc. By freezing your eggs, you get to put that whole situation on hold.

3. You'd like to mute the pressure button. Maybe you're in a cozy relationship and you're both aligned on the baby-making angle but you're loving your life at the moment. Or perhaps you and your partner are knee-deep in cramming for the bar or saving for a house and you just can't think about a baby right now. Freeze 'em now, and let the pressure lift like a heavy fog.

Tell us...are you thinking of freezing your eggs?