Egg Freezing Success

In the world of assisted reproductive technology (ART), egg freezing is a relatively new offering. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) just recently lifted the "experimental" label from the procedure. The ASRM practice committee found sufficient evidence to “demonstrate acceptable success rates in young highly selected populations.”

National statistics on in vitro fertilization (IVF) from frozen eggs, was recently presented at the 2013 ASRM conference in Boston. They stated that women who use frozen donor eggs, from a younger woman, is just as effective as fresh donor eggs. Donor egg statistics would mimic the statistics of a young woman who donated her own eggs for use later in life.

According to fertility experts, prior to 2004, there were very few reported births from frozen eggs. Since then, however, technology has improved and thousands of babies have been born from frozen eggs. In addition, the incidence of birth defects in frozen egg babies does not appear to be increased when compared to natural conceptions. And according to studies, at some fertility clinics the birth rate for IVF procedures with frozen eggs that were retrieved from women under 36 is now close to 50 percent, which is comparable to the IVF birth rate with fresh eggs from women of that age.

This type of success has also given rise to frozen donor egg banks where women in need of egg donation can select frozen donor eggs rather than selecting a donor and then coordinating cycles for egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

Egg freezing is now well established and has high success rates. Using a database which included data from over 2,200 egg freezing cycles of 1,805 women from the United States and Europe success in the freezing process was reported to decline as women aged, dropping sharply at the age of 36. The study also showed pregnancies from young, frozen eggs can be implanted as late as 44 years old, but the rate of pregnancy declines after the age of 42. ASRM does urge caution and points out that the age of the woman at the time of egg freezing is a very important factor.

It is important to remember that egg quality is highest during your reproductive prime, which is age 16 to 28. During the mid-reproductive years — ages 29 to 38 — percentage of quality eggs begins to decline while quantity may stay consistent. But when you get to the late reproductive period — ages 39 to 44 — there are eggs that are still usable, but there is a diminished chance of pregnancy from these eggs.

To increase your chances of success with frozen eggs, become educated about the process and freeze them as early as possible.

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