Freezing your Eggs: What to Consider When Exploring Options
Excelling in your career, haven’t found the right partner yet or just simply not ready to start a family are all factors that women experience as they age. These are just some of the factors to consider when you are interested in exploring egg freezing. First and foremost, you have to talk to a fertility doctor to see if you are a candidate for egg freezing, to make sure that this is the best option for you.
Understanding what age to freeze your eggs or when to start thinking about it is important. The ideal age to freeze eggs is between 30 and 35 years old. After 35, the egg quantity and quality starts to decline, but it can still be a possibility.
Ovarian Reserve and AMH
As part of some tests to see if you are an egg-freezing candidate, your doctor will draw your AMH level, an indication of your ovarian reserve. Ideally, an AMH level of 1 or above will provide you with the best opportunity to get a good number of eggs with one stimulation cycle.
Antral Follicle Count
Another test that will be done is an Antral Follicle Count – an ultrasound performed at the beginning of your cycle to look at your ovarian reserve and see how many follicles you have at the start of your cycle.
Family and Personal History
Having a conversation with your mom or sister about your family history may impact your fertility. If your mom or sister has a history of early menopause, you may want to consider egg freezing. Consider having some tests done to see what your own fertility health is will give you a better idea of the family history and whether or not you may be affected. Another factor can be an autoimmune illness, which can reduce egg supply more aggressively with age than the average rate of decline. If you are a carrier of a genetic disease, such as BRCA or Fragile X, you may want to freeze your eggs to preserve your fertility for later, knowing that you may not want to attempt to conceive naturally.
Considering the timeline is very important when thinking about freezing your eggs. Some questions to ask yourself: Are you in a relationship, but delaying pregnancy? Are you not in a relationship, but want to be able to take the pressure off finding someone and rushing to have children? Maybe you have commitments to either job or education that will delay parenthood for the next three to five years. Whatever the situation may be, the decision to freeze your eggs gives you choices and have options for a family when you are ready.
The best way to discover if you want to move forward with egg freezing is to schedule a consultation with a physician to see what options you have and to allow you to make informed decisions about your future fertility.