Should Egg Freezing Be a Graduation Gift?

Egg Freezing Gift

An article in yesterday's Daily Mail reports that a British fertility doctor recommends that egg freezing should be a graduation gift for young women, but worries that it may alter women's life choices.

Gillian Lockwood, M.D., of the Midland Fertility Centre was quoted. "One part of me wants to say that [egg freezing] should be every dad’s graduation present for his daughter. It would be a very safe, low dose, and you could have 20 beautiful eggs in the freezer," she says. "But — and it’s a very big but — I’m concerned about how that would alter a woman’s life choices, that they might think: 'Well, instead of having a family with Mr. Not Quite Perfect, I can afford to wait for Mr. Absolutely perfect.”

Often, women wait until their late 30s to even start thinking about freezing their eggs, and by then their eggs have declined in quality. Becoming knowledgable about age and fertility earlier would be better, says Eve Feinberg, M.D., Director, Fertility Centers of Illinois — Center for Fertility Preservation.

"It is an excellent idea for all women in their 20s to have an understanding of the decline in fertility with age that universally occurs," Dr. Feinberg says. "The decision of when to freeze eggs should take into account the woman's chosen career path, her medical and family history and her desires for future fertility.  For many women, freezing eggs at time of peak fertility in her 20s would be an excellent idea, but one that must be carefully considered with all risks and benefits discussed."

Researchers have found that women are more likely to conceive if their eggs are frozen when they are under 30. Still, says Edward Marut, M.D., medical director of Fertility Centers of Illinois, egg freezing is something that women need to consider carefully.

"If it were to be a graduation present, it should be deferred until it seemed like it was needed, perhaps around 30 years old," he says. "Ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval should not be taken lightly."

(To read about various fertility clinics' policies on ages to freeze eggs, check out our Fertility Clinic Q&As.)

So, should women start thinking about egg freezing in their 20s? Should it be a graduation gift? And, more importantly, what can be done to educate women about this option to preserve their fertility?

Let us hear your thoughts. Please comment on Facebook or Twitter!

November 27, 2012
Posted by Leigh Ann Woodruff

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