Planning to freeze your eggs? Right here’s what you’ll want to know

Extra ladies are freezing their eggs to extend their probabilities of turning into a father or mother down the monitor. Do you have to be doing it, too?

Feminine fertility sometimes peaks in early maturity earlier than steadily declining from the early 30s.

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However due to expertise and a higher consciousness in regards to the fertility window, extra Australian ladies are taking steps to guard their reproductive future.

Analysis from ANZARD and UNSW reveals the variety of egg freezing cycles in Australia and New Zealand rose by 133 per cent between 2016 and 2020.

Why freeze your eggs?

Many ladies usually are not able to have children of their 20s.

Freezing your eggs could provide you with extra time to attain objectives – resembling pursue greater training, set up a profession or take out a mortgage – earlier than the life-changing position of motherhood begins.

College of Melbourne Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology program chief Dr Michelle Peate says there was a giant shift in fertility consciousness in recent times.

“Extra ladies know that fertility and the power to fall pregnant declines with age, however there’s additionally advanced social and circumstantial parameters, resembling constructing careers and incomes levels, that imply you aren’t able to start out a household,” Dr Peate says.

“Biologically, your 20s are going to provide you your best-quality eggs, however socially that age group usually aren’t prepared for youths, and that is additional cemented by the very fact half of Australian ladies haven’t had infants by the age of 31.”

What Jennifer Aniston wished somebody had advised her

For a lot of ladies, the method of freezing their eggs is seen as a method of turning again time.

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Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston, in a latest interview with Attract journal, opened up about her personal infertility struggles and her remorse at not freezing eggs sooner.

“I’d have given something if somebody had mentioned to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do your self a favour.’

“You simply don’t assume it,” the favored actor mentioned.

British singer-songwriter Rita Ora has additionally spoken about her want to have kids sooner or later, describing her egg freezing journey in her 20s as the very best factor she ever did.

What age do you have to freeze your eggs?

Whereas it is smart to leverage your youth by freezing your eggs throughout your 20s, the process and ongoing storage might be expensive and could also be pointless.

Individuals on this age group usually go on to fall pregnant naturally with out fertility help.

Earlier this 12 months, a overview was revealed within the Australian Journal of Common Apply that indicated essentially the most logical time for girls to freeze their eggs was between 32 and 38 years previous.

In the meantime, knowledge from the Australian Institute of Well being and Welfare reveals ladies aged 35 and over now account for greater than 25 per cent of annual births, whereas the speed of ladies aged between 40 and 44 giving beginning can be rising.

“These days, ladies are extra conscious of their choices and may make choices about their future accordingly,” Dr Peate says.

“The fundamental precept is to attempt to be as knowledgeable as doable and to have all the knowledge you’ll be able to about your distinctive state of affairs so you’ll be able to weigh up what’s necessary to you.”

Fertility therapy: What to anticipate

Step one in direction of fertility therapy often includes a variety of assessments and blood work to supply a tough estimate of your egg depend and the general well being of your eggs.

This may point out how probably you’re to conceive naturally and the way straightforward or troublesome it may very well be to retrieve viable eggs.

Household well being histories are additionally thought of and people with documented hereditary situations are inspired to have genetic screening to point the chance of passing on situations to offspring.

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Why you may like to contemplate genetic screening

Reproductive genetic counsellor Dr Alison Archibald says extra individuals view reproductive genetic screening as a key a part of pre and early being pregnant healthcare.

And as expertise advances, extra genes and situations are being screened.

“Probably the most informative method is to display each reproductive mother and father,” Dr Archibald says.

“For individuals utilizing donors through IVF, it’s necessary to ask what genetic screening has been offered for these donors.”

She says the most typical false impression about genetic service screening is it’s completely for individuals with identified hereditary diseases of their household — however that’s not the case.

“Genetic modifications can cross down by many generations of a household with no individual having the situation, and a few genetic situations are underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

“It’s quite common to hold a genetic situation; most individuals do.

“Service screening is about figuring out whether or not the reproductive couple collectively have an elevated likelihood of getting kids with severe genetic situations, which is why screening is related to everybody.”

Screening doesn’t come low-cost, and there are calls from the group for the federal authorities to introduce free genetic service screening for 3 of the highest-risk situations.

Count on to pay 1000’s of {dollars} to freeze your eggs

Egg freezing is dear, particularly when mixed with the continued prices of storage.

Payments run into 1000’s of {dollars}, though you could be eligible for a Medicare rebate if you’ll want to freeze your eggs as a result of you’ve a medical situation that impacts your fertility.

Maybe you’re fortunate sufficient to work for an organization that may subsidise the fee.

In an indication of the instances, some firms are demonstrating their family-friendly credentials by providing workers monetary assist for egg freezing and fertility remedies.

“If having organic kids is necessary to you, it’s necessary to contemplate the price of fertility remedies and different potential roadblocks you may face,” Dr Peate says.

One girl’s story: Why Courtney froze her eggs

Courtney Magnon’s egg freezing journey has been rather less standard than most.

She went by the method as a precursor to most cancers therapy for stage 4 melanoma.

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Simply earlier than the pandemic hit in 2020, the then 29-year-old content material creator, podcaster and stationery enterprise proprietor had a solar spot checked and was quickly identified with superior melanoma.

“I used to be at an age the place buddies had been shopping for homes, getting married and having children, however I used to be targeted on simply staying alive,” Courtney says.

“My physician suggested me to freeze my eggs earlier than I began any most cancers therapy, which is precisely what I did, and it was throughout that course of that I found I wasn’t very fertile for my age.

“In truth, I used to be advised that round 95 per cent of ladies had been extra fertile than me.”

Quick ahead to the current and Courtney has not solely been capable of freeze viable eggs, she has additionally survived most cancers 4 instances over.

“If I wasn’t identified with most cancers, I wouldn’t have discovered about my fertility points,” she says.

“It simply goes to indicate that struggling to conceive doesn’t at all times current apparent signs and being in your 20s doesn’t at all times correlate with excessive fertility.”

5 issues to pay attention to with egg freezing

Egg freezing may lengthen the viability of your eggs, however it’s necessary to recollect there’s no bulletproof answer for safeguarding your future fertility.

Listed here are some issues to pay attention to:

1: Every Australian state has its personal legal guidelines for the storage interval for eggs, sperm and embryos, and in most states, frozen eggs can solely be saved for 10-15 years.

2: The hormone stimulation concerned within the egg freezing course of may cause uncomfortable side effects – most typically gentle, resembling complications and nausea.

3: Some ladies develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, the place the ovaries leak fluid into the physique, which might be severe and trigger signs resembling extreme vomiting and blood clots.

4: Generally the egg retrieval course of might be unsuccessful and end in no eggs being retrieved.

5: Even when your frozen eggs later change into wholesome embryos, the transferred embryos gained’t essentially end in being pregnant.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.