Is Social Egg Freezing For You?
Why Would You Do It?
Not in a relationship and concerned, that if in a relationship when older,fertility potential significantly reduced.
In a relationship but not ready to have children, however worried about difficulties getting pregnant when older.
Career not pregnancy on immediate life agenda, nevertheless aware of declining fertility with advancing age.
Contemplating single parenthood, a long term relationship is not established before likelihood of conceiving with own eggs
Uncertainty of longevity of current relationship and anxiety about pregnancy prospects when older.
Previous broken relationships, concerned about future relationships, and not discounting possibility of single parenthood.
Avoiding future regret if find yourself in the ideal relationship later in life, when ovarian reserve is reduced,
most eggs are chromosomally abnormal and IVF unlikely to be successful using own eggs.
Needing more time to find a suitable partner, who sees parenting as an important part of the relationship.
All the above are variations on the same theme, “Fertility Insurance”.
Is Social Egg Freezing Fertility Insurance?
First and foremost, remember there is no guarantee that you will have a baby from your frozen eggs.
A lot depends on your age. Even if you are in your 20s or early 30s, a single hormonally stimulated cycle may not result in
the collection of enough eggs to give you an 80% chance of having a baby.Not all eggs collected are mature and suitable for freezing.
You may need to undergo a second, or even third, hormonally stimulated egg collection cycle to achieve the requisite number of eggs
to have this likelihood of having a baby.
Although Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) can give an indication of the number of eggs you are likely to have collected,
it does not give any indication about their quality or chromosomal normality. Age is the best discriminant for the quality
and normality of eggs.
Aggressive ovarian stimulation may result in the collection of a larger number of eggs, but not necessarily a larger number of
good quality normal eggs.
Not all eggs collected are suitable for freezing, not all frozen eggs survive thawing, not all thawed frozen eggs are suitable for fertilization,
not all eggs fertilize, not all embryos created are suitable for transfer, not all embryos transferred result in a pregnancy, and not all
pregnancies end in the birth of a healthy, live, normal baby.
Are All Egg Freezing Clinics The Same?
Vitrification is the method of choice for freezing eggs. It involves dropping the temperature of the eggs so quickly in
liquid nitrogen that they are frozen in a second.
Eggs that have been frozen at a young age, 20s and early 30s, should have a survival rate in excess of 90% if vitrified.
It is important to establish the percentage survival rate of frozen eggs, and their suitability for fertilization,
in the clinic you plan to attend i.e.what is the clinic’s experience.
Will the clinic that freezes your eggs be the same clinic that manages your IVF treatment, if or when you decide to use them?
Or, will they need to be transferred elsewhere?
Freezing your eggs for the future is a very important decision for you to make.
Will you be offered independent counselling to assist you in making the right decision for you,
and to support you if things do not work out as planned?
What Is The Real Cost Of Social Egg Freezing?
Medicare and Private Health Insurance do not cover Social Egg Freezing.
It is totally an out of pocket cost and attracts 10% GST.
It Is important to establish the total cost, including cost of hormonal medication.
Is the cost of the fertility specialist performing the egg collection and the anaesthetist included in the package,
or do either of these attract an additional fee? Is there a day surgery facility fee? Is there a charge for freezing the eggs?
Is the cost of frozen egg storage for a period of time included in the package?
Is there an upfront fee? Is there an instalment plan option for storage,or must storage be paid for in advance every six or 12 months?
If your stimulation cycle is cancelled because of poor response, how much will it cost?
If no eggs suitable for freezing are collected, how much will it cost?
If only a small number of eggs suitable for freezing are collected, will a second or third stimulated egg collection cycle
be any cheaper?
Is there a single or are there multiple storage fees for eggs collected in different cycles?
If no eggs suitable for fertilization survive thawing,is there a refund?
There will be Medicare and Private Health Insurance rebates when you use your frozen eggs for IVF treatment
(unless things change in the meantime), but there will still be a significant out of pocket cost.
The experience of Australian and American clinics, that have offered Social Egg Freezing for quite some time,
has been that only 5% to 6% of women use their frozen eggs within 4 years.
I hope that I have provided you with the information you need to make the best decision about Social Egg Freezing
as it relates to your particular circumstances.
Discussion with an independent fertility counsellor would be invaluable before making a final decision.