Egg freezing needn’t be controversial, but it should be an informed choice comments Harley Street Fertility Clinic Director Dr Geetha Venkat
Recently there has been a plethora of negative media comments and articles surrounding women who choose to freeze their eggs for social reasons. It seems there isn’t an expert or ‘media doctor’ who doesn’t have an opinion on the issue! However, with such a highly charged emotional issue, it’s difficult to separate the facts and appreciate a balanced view.
As a practice which has supported hundreds of couples trying to conceive, we wholeheartedly believe that there should be no stigma for women taking future precautions with regards to their fertility. Dr Venkat stresses that; “although egg freezing cannot guarantee a child, there is no harm in women taking an active role in discussing their fertility issues and planning ahead.” Furthermore, fertility problems often coincide with other wider health issues, so it’s important for women to be practical and to understand their bodies.
Although egg freezing is a good insurance policy for your fertility, at Harley Street Fertility Clinic we always recommended that you should have a fertility check-up and discuss your option with a qualified medical professional before making any decisions or embarking on any treatment. Everyone is different and fertility rates vary from person to person – it’s not a simple as your biological age. If you do have any concerns about your fertility it is always better to get checked sooner rather than later – tackling medical issues earlier typically results in a better outcome and prevention is always better than cure.
Making the decision to freeze your eggs shouldn’t be taken lightly, but egg freezing does not damage your fertility or have any alarming side effects. It is often performed for medical reasons, for example, if you plan to undergo cancer treatment, egg freezing prior to starting cancer treatment is recommended to ensure that you have a better chance of starting a family in future, even if that future may seem a long-way off.
Fertility does decline with age: the process begins in your late twenties and becomes more significant over the age of 35. With this in mind, if you are considering planning for the future with regards to your fertility, it is worth having a fertility check-up in your twenties , as this is when you should be your most fertile and your eggs will be at their optimal quality. However, that’s not to say that if you find yourself in your 30s and wanting children but still not quite ready that freezing your eggs shouldn’t be considered. It may still be a viable option, but generally we advise people to consider egg freezing before they reach 35.
By choosing this path, if you find that your fertility has decreased, you will have the opportunity to try with your own eggs when undertaking IVF instead of considering egg donation. The harsh reality is that many women in the media spotlight, who are seemingly easily having babies in their mid to late 40s are probably using donor eggs or some other method.
The egg freezing procedure involves stimulating the ovaries in order to produce more eggs, which will then be collected in a simple 30 minute procedure performed under sedation. The eggs will then be frozen using a process called vitrification and stored until you are ready to begin trying for a family. For more information on egg freezing contact Harley Street Fertility Clinic on 02031 312 643 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .