Eggs on ice

girls bike

Young, healthy women are increasingly inclined to freeze their eggs while they pursue education and career as a preemptive strike against declining fertility which comes with age. However, even young women can’t be uniformly be categorized by their intention so studies indicate young women need to be properly informed about choices and socially supported once they’ve made a decision.

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi, a research fellow at the Leeds Centre for Reproductive Medicine, London, and her team survey 98 medical students (Group A) and 97 students of education and sports studies (Group B) from the University of Leeds. All of the women were given information about egg freezing and the cost to do so. Their average age was 21. In Group A, 63% were not in serious relationships while Group B had only 26% not involved seriously with a love interest.

Group A was much more prepared to wait to start a family, 86% said they would be willing to wait. Only half of Group B would even consider it. Similarly 80% of Group A said they would egg freeze while 40% of Group B agreed.

“Career considerations were given as the commonest reason to delay starting a family in Group A, followed by financial stability and marriage or a stable relationship,” said Dr. Gorthi. “However, in Group B, financial stability came first, followed by a stable relationship and then career reasons. We think that this is the first time that young women’s attitudes to egg freezing have been studied in this way.”

Until a few years ago, only women undergoing chemotherapy consider egg freezing and the success of doing so was woefully low. Today, especially with the success of vitrification, frozen eggs are as viable as fresh eggs. With such high success rates many more women are considering it. Young women especially see it as a way to beat Mother Nature.

Clinics that offer egg freezing need to consider the diverse motivations of this new customer base. “There has been a vogue for offering freezing for social reasons to women, especially those embarking on their careers, or those who haven’t found their Prince Charming, as a kind of insurance policy for later life. . . Women thinking about undergoing this procedure must be provided with accurate information and have counseling to both the benefits and imitations of oocyte freezing compared with other options,” said Dr. Gorthi.

Source: ESHRE, Medical News Today


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