The first time I heard about egg freezing was when I saw one of the clips from “The Real Daytime”show on YouTube where Jeanni Mai discussed with the other ladies that she had her eggs frozen a couple of months after her divorce because she might just end up changing her mind about wanting kids.
So I decided to read up on it and learn all there is to know about egg freezing. Although, I’m not sure if we have the technology and means to accommodate those who would like to freeze their eggs here in Nigeria.
Here are some things to know if you’re considering it as an option
First thing first, egg freezing is the process of saving your eggs so that you can get pregnant a bit later than you otherwise would. It essentially presses pause on your eggs for a period of time.
A lot of women choose to freeze their eggs for several reasons, some due to medical reasons that could lead to delay in childbirth while for others it is so that they can have the option when they are eventually ready to.
However, even though it’s a good technology it is not guaranteed that those eggs will lead to pregnancy.
What happens when you freeze your eggs?
Once a woman decides to freeze her eggs, the process takes a couple of weeks.
It starts with a learning visit with a fertility specialist, who explains a series of hormone injections that will encourage multiple eggs to mature in the woman’s ovaries. During follow-up visits, the eggs and the ovaries are monitored.
Then when it’s time the eggs are collected via a one-time procedure that takes up to 15 to 20 minutes under anesthesia and the procedure is usually done vaginally using a tiny needle that goes into the ovary to collect the eggs.
Eggs that are collected are frozen and stored indefinitely with their amount varying between 10 to 12 eggs. An individual can always decide to do multiple cycles of egg collection to increase her chances of pregnancy later.
It’s estimated that each egg that a woman freezes has about a 4.5 percent to 12 percent chance of becoming a baby someday.
There’s no guarantee.
It’s important to know that freezing eggs does not guarantee a baby, but it offers a reliable insurance plan. When you are ready to use your frozen eggs to have a family, they must complete several steps prior to pregnancy.
Eggs must survive the thaw, fertilise, implant and hopefully result in a baby. Along the way, any of these steps may not happen. Until eggs are used for treatment, physicians cannot know the outcome.
Eggs should be frozen when you are young, but not too young
The highest live birth rates from previously frozen eggs are shown to come from women who undergo the procedure before they are 30. However, the average age at which women freeze their eggs is around 37, with many women freezing their eggs in their late 30s and early 40s.
Not all hospitals are equipped
If you are thinking about freezing your eggs, find a clinic that has plenty of experience with the procedure. You should also ask the clinic if they are able to provide you with success rates with egg freezing from their own data.
How much does egg freezing cost?
Well, I’m not sure how much it cost in Nigeria and that is if the procedure is actually done here but according to research it would typically cost around $10,000 to $12,000. That includes the tests, labs, ultrasounds and the procedure – everything except an annual storage fee and the follow-up procedure for women who end up using those eggs.
Tech giants companies Apple and Facebook have made headlines in the past for offering to cover the cost of egg freezing as one of the perks for employees which is considered as a progressive move.
In conclusion, egg freezing though expensive is definitely one that has come to stay and even though it might not be a well known idea in this part of the world, it is definitely one that a lot of women are open to trying.