How to keep an egg frozen has re-evolved as a final act of self-care US News

W.The hen Valerie Landis underwent the first round of freezing in 2015, she was younger than many other patients. Healthcare sales professional Landis was 33 at the time. Amidst the pressure of work, which often requires her to travel internationally for business, and a breakup a few years ago, she decided to buy more time to decide if she wanted to be a parent herself.

At the time, “the youngest I heard was 37,” Landis said. “Now there are people who are 25 years old to freeze eggs. The whole landscape has changed. ”

Egg oocyte cryopreservation – The technical term for egg freezing was developed in the 1980s and was historically reserved for people with severe medical conditions who wanted the option of having a baby later in life. In 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the label “experimental” from the process, paving the way for “social” or “alternative” egg cooling to grow in popularity. And over the past few years, the process has gained something for makeover, thanks to a crop of reproduction startups that do the necessary marketing for the everyday, free woman. Companies like Kindbody, Prelaid Fertility, Ova, Existing Damaged Trellis and others have transformed egg freezing from a rigorous medical procedure that takes place in a clinical environment that offers not only convenience and comfort, but also empowerment.

Their marketing ranges from eye-popping Instagram ads to chic office fees and happy-hour informative sessions. It all shows in a sense that egg freezing doesn’t have to be scary, or a big deal, to bring it under the ubiquitous banner of self-care and well-being. A recent announcement by a New York City-based fertility clinic compared the process of expanding fertility to creating a budget for a manicure or aka bowls, while Kindbody told women to “take ownership of the future” by freezing eggs.

This line echoes the comments of the company’s head of marketing, who referred to the cooling egg as a “new wave of feminism” or “mantra” for independent women.

“Freezing eggs is a form of self-care,” Gina Bartasi, CEO of Kindabody, told the Guardian. “Many other areas of healthcare are active – we eat well, we monitor our cholesterol, we exercise – but when it comes to fertility, the standard of care is to wait until a problem arises.”

But, today doctors and patients have pushed back efforts to appeal to young women, criticizing companies like Kindbody and Extended Fertility for playing on women’s fears, glossing over the reality of the process, providing a misunderstanding of optimism and hope.

“I call it ‘grab,'” said Paul L. Leine, an obstetrician / gynecologist and head of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). “He says, ‘Hey, you’re an independent woman. Grab your fertility, let’s do it. ‘He meets patients at the door. “

Egg freezing basically boils down to a game of numbers: the more eggs a patient is able to freeze, the better the chances are that one of those eggs can result in a baby. The number of eggs that can be hatched varies from cycle to cycle, and not all eggs that are frozen are suitable. Egg quality declines over time, as older eggs are more likely to be involved in genetic disorders.

“Number one [success factor] It’s the age for anyone to try to get pregnant. Said Dr. Josh Klein, Founder of Extended Fertility. “It was clear to me that if women lay healthy eggs when they are younger, that life is very precious.”

Over the years, egg cold has been ballooning in popularity: in 2017, 10,936 women froze eggs – or 23 times as many as in 2009, according to data collected by Sarte. Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook and Google now offer egg-chilling as employee benefits. Part of her appeal is always about the promise of giving more time – time to find a partner, move on professionally and earn more money, or find yourself in a better personal, financial or medical situation in general to consider motherhood. Yale’s research found that the main reason women freeze eggs is due to the absence of a spouse.

Dr. Pas, head of the Yale Fertility Center and Fertility Preservation Program. “Social pressure and peer pressure is not the way to go,” Pasquale Patrizio said.

In response to these criticisms, Kindbody’s Bartasi said there was nothing wrong with encouraging women to think about fertility as early as possible. “We just want to encourage women to disseminate information and be active in understanding their own fertility, while they still have the most options available,” Bertasi said. “Once they are equipped with information, the choice is up to them.”

Multiple studies have found that many women do not realize how their fertility is declining. A study from the University of Florida found that only .50% of women know that fertility begins to decline at age 35. A second study from the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed women who conceived with IVF at the age of 0 and found that 44% of those reported were ‘surprised’ and ‘warned’ to find that their understanding of the severity of age-related fertility decline was inaccurate. ‘

The success rate of egg cooling varies significantly depending on the age of the female, how many eggs she freezes and how many she had when she froze. A 2016 study of 1,171 IVF cycles using frozen eggs found that a woman who frozen five eggs at age 35 or older had a 15% chance of a live birth. For women who freeze 10 eggs and women who freeze 15 or more eggs, there is an 85% chance of increase.

On average, egg freezing medication costs 15,000 to 20,000 cycles, including medication, treatment, and storage, and the average patient goes through two cycles. Gwen Schroeder, a Brooklyn-based documentary photographer and filmmaker, said that if you look at its economics, what a terrible investment it would be to get a 15% chance, it would cost 15 15.

Schroeder froze her eggs five years ago at the age of Roed and says she was able to afford it only after her father died and she got the money from her pension. Six months after she froze her eggs, she met someone, and they had a daughter in 2016.

“I still have my eggs frozen [in storage] And the investment I’ve made helps me feel a little bit more secure, ”Schroeder said. “I want to hold them. Who knows what life looks like? ”

Most patients undergoing the procedure do not use their frozen eggs. Consumption rates for frozen eggs range from about 3% to 9%.

For this reason, women who are considering freezing eggs may find themselves in a dilemma. The smaller they are when they freeze, the more likely they are to have a successful pregnancy, but the less likely they are to use eggs. The larger they are, the more likely they are to use eggs, but the less likely they are to have a successful pregnancy.

D in. Patrizio advises that the best time to freeze eggs, for females without medical conditions affecting fertility, is indeed quite narrow: -3 between the ages of 33–35.

Kimberly Goodley was 29 when she first considered freezing her eggs, then her doctor cutter found a blister inside her left ovary. Goodley, who has endometriosis, needed surgery that would remove the entire ovary and both fallopian tubes. The freezing of the eggs would allow her to try to keep the baby below the line, but the procedure was prohibitively expensive.

“It made me feel a little inferior because I knew that freezing eggs would cost me a lot of money that I didn’t have,” said Goodley, who works at a day-care center in the Bronx. “I thought, ‘How do I do this?'”

Goodley’s boyfriend had the idea to create a GoFundMe campaign, and the couple raised 1, 1,600. With the family’s extra financial support, Goodley was able to freeze two eggs in May 2019. That’s a low number, but gives her hope.

“I’ve always dreamed of having twins and I always thought they would be my twin children,” Goodley said. Said Goodley, who is a twin himself. “I want to get married before I do, but I’ll use that egg.”