As more women sense their child-bearing years coming to an end before having any kids, the idea of freezing a few eggs to save for later has been something of a convenience and a comfort. But for women who haven’t yet found the right time to be pregnant, doctors are now warning that freezing eggs for later use may not be the way to go.
Today reports about the recent statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warning that long term egg-freezing may not produce the intended effects for all women. The statement, written by Dr. Samantha Butts reads, “We don’t want to give patients the impression that this technology can guarantee a successful pregnancy.” She adds, “We are not endorsing widespread use of egg freezing for women who want to delay motherhood. We still need to study it more to determine its safety, ethics and cost-effectiveness.”
The procedure of freezing eggs is currently performed at fertility clinics and can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $12,000. Celebrities like Sofia Vergara have been vocal about their decision to freeze their eggs since motherhood just hasn’t happened yet.
Sarah Wickliffe is a 29-year old who decided to freeze some of her eggs after breaking up with a long term boyfriend and being diagnosed with polycystic ovary disorder (possibly threatening her fertility in the future). She subsequently had 12 of her eggs frozen to save for a time when and if she needs them. She explains, “I thought that if I had the chance to put away eggs that are healthy now, I should do it. I’d have some insurance, no matter what happened in my love live. My younger eggs would be waiting for me.”
Though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wants to see more data about the effectiveness of egg-freezing before recommending the procedure to women, many women are not willing to wait that long. Izetta Siegal Stern, an organizer of support groups sponsored by the American Fertility Association and a proponent of egg freezing, explains why she urges OBGYNs to include discussion about the procedure with patients. She says, “I understand that these professional associations would like to see more research data on all aspects of elective egg freezing, but this will take years, and those maybe will be lost years for women who could benefit from egg freezing now.”
What do you think about the current statement warning against the procedure of freezing eggs?
Do you think women who haven’t yet had children should consider freezing their eggs to use at a later date?