Social egg freezing is growing as more women decide to put their eggs on ice so they can concentrate on their careers.
Now for the first time, big name corporations are recognising the importance of fertility preservation, with the news this week that Facebook and Apple are both offering to pay for women workers to freeze their eggs if they wish to.
The perk is designed to allow women to focus on their careers without worrying about their fertility declining as they age, helping to ensure women will no longer have to choose between career and family. Eggs are frozen and are thawed and fertilised when the woman decides she would like to have a family.
Apple states that its new egg freezing and storage perk is designed to further empower its female employees, along with a new extended maternity leave policy and its adoption assistance programme for those adopting a child.
So would you welcome the chance to freeze your eggs? At Manchester Fertility helping women to understand their fertility and its natural decline is something we are passionate about – it’s why we became the first UK clinic to work with FlowerKid, who chose to partner with us as one of their quality cryopreservation centres, not just because of our expertise in egg freezing but our openness and honesty about success rates and suitability with our patients.
If you’re thinking of preserving your fertility for social reasons, it’s important to be aware of the facts:
Freeze your eggs when you are young: The younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the better they will be and the better the chance of successful conception in future. Fertility declines with age, but many women only consider egg freezing when they reach their mid-30s, and haven’t met the right partner or don’t want to take time out from their career. Eggs are already lower quality at this age.
Not all clinics use the same freezing technique:At Manchester Fertility we use a method called vitrification, or ‘flash freezing’. This reduces cell damage to the egg caused by ice crystals, meaning more of your eggs are viable to be used in future fertility treatment.
Success rates are improving:Success rates using frozen eggs are getting better all the time thanks to improved techniques and rising awareness of fertility rates in women. It is no longer considered an ‘experimental’ treatment but a viable option to help preserve fertility.
Beware of false hope: Any fertility clinic offering fertility preservation services should be open and honest with you about your chances of success and whether egg freezing could work for you. They should always tell you if the success rate is so low it’s not worth attempting. Success is influenced by a number of factors – your age (and the age/quality of your eggs) at the time of freezing, how many eggs are retrieved following stimulation, and the methods used to freeze the eggs.
Sperm quality: When you’re ready to use your frozen eggs, the quality of the sperm used to fertilise the egg is also crucial. Whether you are using a partner’s sperm or that of a donor, at Manchester Fertility we fertilise thawed eggs using ICSI, where a single healthy sperm is injected directly into the egg to fertilise it.