If you are reading this article, then you are almost certainly considering egg freezing as an option. One of the most critical things that you must do is conduct research on the subject, including the best age to consider egg freezing. Egg freezing is commonly used for assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). The eggs are harvested from the ovaries and frozen for use in the future.
Several fertility clinics offer egg freezing in Bangkok, but it is vital that you choose the right one. Unfortunately, some clinics don’t have the modern facilities to ensure that the eggs are frozen immediately after retrieval, thus reducing the chances of becoming pregnant in the future. While there are no guarantees that the procedure will work, the eggs must be frozen rapidly and at the correct temperature.
What is the best age to freeze my eggs?
The optimal age to freeze your eggs is in your twenties, with some arguing that your early thirties is also suitable. The younger you are, the higher the ovarian reserve you will have, and the eggs are also likely to be of higher quality, assuming that you lead a healthy lifestyle. However, eggs cannot be preserved indefinitely, so you need to factor this into your decision process. We do not recommend egg freezing for women over the age of 38 unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as a cancer diagnosis, as the chances of success are significantly reduced.
There are no guarantees of success
It should be stated that although egg-freezing allows females to delay entering motherhood, there are no guarantees that it will be successful and, therefore, should not be treated as an insurance policy. Inevitably, some frozen eggs will not be suitable, with some destroyed during the thawing process. Also, you will have to consider the health risks and potential complications of becoming pregnant at, for example, 40. While eggs frozen at 30 are likely to be the same as regular eggs, increasing your chances of pregnancy, your body at 40 may be less forgiving.
Egg retrieval is not a straightforward process
A common misconception is that egg retrieval is a simple process. Sadly, this is untrue, and a lot of planning needs to be untaken long before the eggs get to the freezing stage. It is another reason why it is better to consider freezing your eggs at a younger age, as the harvesting process will cause the body less stress. Hormonal changes are required to stimulate egg production, and numerous tests will be required before, during, and after the procedure occurs.
The eggs should be frozen using liquid nitrogen, but many clinics still use a process called “slow freezing”, which significantly reduces egg survival rates.
You should expect side effects
Although everyone’s body will respond differently, most people should expect some side effects, which often increase with age. Egg freezing is likely to cause cramping and pain along with mood swings, including depression. While these side-effects are short-term, you may want to be proactive and book some time off work during the procedure.
However, some side-effects, including weight gain or bloating, could be a sign of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is more serious. Finally, the female should avoid unprotected sex in the days after the procedure as some eggs may not have been successfully retrieved, and the chances of pregnancy are higher.
If you have health issues, egg freezing is a good option regardless of age
If the female is diagnosed with cancer and requires chemotherapy or radiotherapy, we would strongly suggest freezing her eggs before undergoing treatment as it is known to affect fertility. Also, if the woman requires surgery on her ovaries, egg freezing is recommended, as do women who have a family history of early menopause. These are all cases where eggs should be frozen for medical reasons rather than as a lifestyle choice.
Is it better to freeze eggs or embryos?
Firstly, it is essential that we point out that eggs are unfertilised and embryos are fertilised eggs using your current partner’s sperm. Although it may sound disrespectful, if you decide to freeze your eggs as a lifestyle choice, does that mean that you are not ready to commit to your current partner? While only you know the answer, freezing eggs, as opposed to embryos, will give you more options in the future. Embryo freezing is suitable for women with medical conditions, although both procedures carry the same risks during the thawing process.
Make plans in advance
Egg freezing, regardless of your age, is not something that you should decide lightly. You should do plenty of research regarding the process and seek professional advice rather than relying on information found on the internet. You must make an informed decision based on accurate information, and we would always recommend discussing your plans with trusted family members and friends. Make sure that you conduct due diligence on the clinics, find out what freezing procedures they use and how long they will store your eggs.
Sadly, it is impossible to escape the fact that egg freezing and the subsequent IVF treatment is expensive. You need to be realistic about your current financial position and what your financial situation at the time you wish to try and become pregnant is likely to be. Cost for younger females can make the process prohibitive, and as there are no guarantees of success, you may require more than one course of IVF treatment, significantly increasing the cost.
In summary, the earlier you freeze your eggs, the greater the chance of them being healthy. However, if you are not planning on becoming pregnant until your late 30s, egg retrieval at 21 may not be the route you should be taking due to the factors outlined above. Financial along with health factors may also play a huge bearing on your decision. It is also important to remember that you should not feel compelled to try for a child in the future just because you have decided to freeze your eggs.