Pros, Cons, and Costs of Freezing Your Eggs in 2023
When it comes to having kids, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Some women want to have children right away, while others want to wait until they’re older. And then there are those who want to have children but aren’t ready just yet – so they freeze their eggs. If you’re considering freezing your eggs in 2022 or 2023, let’s dive into the pros, costs, and cons.
So, what exactly does the egg freezing process entail?
Well, it’s actually a lot like getting IVF. You’ll be monitored closely by doctors during your menstrual cycle to see when you’re ovulating. Once they determine that you’re about to ovulate, they’ll give you a hormone injection to help mature the egg. 36 hours later, you’ll return to the clinic so they can retrieve the egg.
The egg is then frozen and stored until you’re ready to use it.
What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a fertility treatment in which eggs are retrieved from a woman’s ovaries and frozen for future use.
How does egg freezing work?
Egg freezing involves a outpatient surgical procedure to retrieve eggs from the ovaries. The eggs are then frozen using one of two techniques.
There are two main egg-freezing methods: slow-freezing and vitrification.
Slow-freezing is the traditional egg-freezing method. It involves cooling eggs slowly to a very low temperature, typically -196°C. This can damage the egg, so it’s not as effective as vitrification.
Vitrification is a newer egg-freezing method that involves cooling the eggs very quickly. This doesn’t damage the egg, so it’s a more effective egg-freezing method.
When you’re deciding which egg-freezing method is best for you, you should consider your age, how many eggs you want to freeze, and how long you want to store them.
If you’re younger, you may want to consider vitrification because it’s a more effective egg-freezing method. If you’re older, you may not have as many eggs to freeze, so slow-freezing may be a better option for you.
You should also consider how long you want to store your eggs. If you only want to store them for a short time, slow-freezing may be a better option because it’s less expensive. If you want to store your eggs for a longer period of time, vitrification may be a better option because it’s more effective.
Once the eggs are frozen, they can be stored in a cryogenic tank for many years. When a woman is ready to conceive, the eggs can be thawed and fertilized with sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
What are the benefits of egg freezing?
Egg freezing can give women more control over their fertility by allowing them to preserve their eggs until they are ready to conceive.
Egg freezing can also be used as a fertility treatment for women who are at risk of premature ovarian failure or who have been diagnosed with cancer and are about to undergo treatment that may damage their reproductive organs.
What are the risks of egg freezing?
There is a small risk of complications associated with egg retrieval, such as bruising or infection. There is also a very small risk that the egg may not survive the freezing and thawing process. However, this is generally not a concern with vitrification.
Cost of freezing your eggs
When it comes to freezing your eggs, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, it’s not cheap. The average cost of freezing your eggs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. And that’s just for the initial procedure. If you want to use those eggs down the line, you’re looking at an additional $3,000 to $5,000 per egg.
Some employers are offering egg retrieval/freezing as an employee benefit
As egg freezing becomes more popular, employers are increasingly starting to cover the costs. This is great news for women who want to delay starting a family.
If you’re considering egg freezing, and know your employer won’t cover it, you may be wondering about the cost and whether your insurance will cover the procedure. Here’s what you need to know.
Does insurance cover egg freezing and retrieval?
Egg freezing is a relatively new technology, so not all insurance plans cover it. However, more and more insurers are beginning to offer coverage for egg freezing and egg retrieval.
According to NPR, “Currently, only 19 states require insurance companies to supply coverage for infertility treatments. And that depends on your insurance company’s policies.”
If your insurance plan does cover egg freezing, it’s likely that they will only cover the procedure if it is medically necessary. This means that you may need to have a diagnosis of cancer or another condition that makes egg freezing medically necessary.
Conditions where egg retrieval may be medically necessary
There are a number of conditions where egg retrieval is medically necessary. One such condition is ovarian torsion, which occurs when the ovary twists on itself. This can cut off blood flow to the ovary and cause severe pain. Another condition is known as ovarian cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that can grow on the ovary. Cysts can cause pain and may require surgery to remove them. Egg retrieval is also sometimes necessary in cases of endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This can cause pain and inflammation. egg freezing can be used to preserve eggs in these cases.
However, even if your insurance plan doesn’t cover egg freezing, there are still options available to help you afford the procedure. Many fertility clinics offer financing options, so be sure to ask about them when you’re considering egg freezing.
In the end, whether or not your insurance covers egg freezing is just one factor to consider when making this decision. It can be a great option for women who want to delay childbearing for medical reasons, personal reasons, or both. But it’s not without its risks and drawbacks.
Here are some things you should know about egg freezing before you make a decision.
The pros of freezing your eggs
1. You’re in Control: One of the biggest advantages of egg freezing is that it gives you control over when you have children. If you’re not ready to have kids right now, egg freezing can buy you some time.
2. It’s a Backup Plan: Freeze your eggs and you’ll always have a backup plan in case you don’t meet the man of your dreams – or he turns out to be infertile.
3. You Can Delay Childbearing: Egg freezing allows you to delay childbearing until you’re ready – whether that’s because you want to focus on your career or you’re not quite ready for the responsibility of children.
4. You Have More Choices: If you freeze your eggs, you have more choices when it comes to having children. You can choose to have them later in life, or you can use a surrogate if you’re unable to carry a child yourself.
5. It’s Not as Expensive as It Used to Be: Egg freezing used to be an expensive procedure, but the cost has come down significantly in recent years.
The cons of freezing your eggs
1. It’s Not a Guarantee: Egg freezing is not a guarantee that you will be able to have children later in life. The success rate for egg freezing is still relatively low, so there’s no guarantee that your eggs will survive the freezing and thawing process or that they’ll be fertilizable once they’re thawed.
2. There are Risks Involved: Egg freezing is a medical procedure, so there are risks involved. These include the risks of egg retrieval (such as anesthesia and infection), as well as the risks associated with egg storage (such as egg loss or damage).
3. It’s Time Consuming and Expensive: Egg freezing is a time-consuming and expensive process. You’ll need to undergo egg retrieval, which takes place over the course of several weeks. And then there’s the cost of egg storage, which can range from $500 to $1,000 per year.
4. It’s Not for Everyone: Egg freezing isn’t for everyone. If you’re not comfortable with the risks or the cost, egg freezing may not be the right choice for you.
5. You May Need to Freeze More Than One Cycle: If you want to increase your chances of success, you may need to freeze more than one cycle of eggs. This means undergoing egg retrieval multiple times, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Finding a fertility specialist to help you freeze your eggs
When it comes to finding a fertility specialist that can freeze your eggs, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the specialist is experienced in egg freezing. This is important because you want to be sure that your eggs are properly frozen and stored.
Additionally, you’ll want to ask about the different methods of egg freezing and which one would be best for you.
Lastly, you’ll want to have all of your documentation in order before you begin the egg-freezing process.
This includes things like your medical history and any medications you are currently taking. Egg freezing can be a great option for those who want to have children later in life, but it’s important to do your research and be prepared before you take the plunge.
If you’re thinking about freezing your eggs, be sure to do your research and talk to your doctor. It’s a big decision, but it could be a life-changing one.