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Most Common Reasons to Freeze your Eggs

Egg freezing has evolved from being deemed a risky or experimental procedure to something much more reliable, available, and even empowering in its ability to grant people reproductive freedom. Unfortunately, the stigmas surrounding the way people manage their own fertility remain, which is why we thought we’d shed some light on some of the reasons people choose to freeze their eggs in the current social context.  

While infertility and age-related reproductive and egg quality decline are still the most talked about reasons for people seeking assistance in fertility, there are many other reasons people choose to freeze their eggs: 

They want a family but aren’t ready just yet 

Not everyone’s lives take the same trajectory. Some careers take longer to build and others start later because of unexpected illness or change of circumstances. Egg freezing makes space and time for education, travel, caregiving for a loved one, financial “readiness”, or moments of uncertainty.  

They want to keep their eggs viable and healthy for a future pregnancy 

While medical science has come a long way, we still haven’t figured out how to reverse the effects of aging. What we can do however is freeze eggs while they’re young to ensure they have less risk of chromosomal abnormalities relative to the eggs of a more mature patient. As you Age, you can expect egg quantity and quality to be reduced. A good way to measure the quantity of your eggs is to have an AMH blood test.  

They are looking for a surrogate 

There are lots of reasons some people are unable to or choose not to carry. LGBTQ+ couples, folks with conditions that put them at risk for dangerous pregnancies, transgender folks, or people with Tokophobia (fear of childbirth) to name just a few. Freezing your eggs can buy you time while you go through the process of finding the right surrogate for you.  

They are undergoing gender reassignment  

In the United States alone there are over 1 million adults who identify as transgender. Egg preservation is one way of safe-keeping any plans for a future family. It’s important to note that there remain a number of barriers to accessing this procedure. For one thing, the process of egg preservation can be a triggering procedure for someone preparing to undergo a transition. It requires the person to undergo hormone therapy that goes against the hormone therapy a person assigned female at birth might take through transition. There are other reasons like cost barriers, age of transition, and certain insurance policies that play into these decisions as well.  

They are LGBTQ+ or in a non-conventional family structure  

There have always been endless family configurations, and they are finally being afforded more visibility, recognition, and – thanks to procedures like egg freezing – reproductive rights 

Couples composed of two people with the ability to carry a child to term, for example, sometimes choose to freeze their eggs in order to implant one partner’s egg into the partner who will carry it. This allows them both to have a biological connection to their child.  

Be sure to work with insurance companies that recognize LGBTQ+ people. Inclusive policies can make these procedures significantly more financially inaccessible.  

They want to be able to screen for disease before pregnancy 

In natural conception, the option to test for potential diseases may not be available until several weeks into a pregnancy. Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) on the other hand allows for testing in embryos to ensure it is not transferred for implantation if it has the potential to develop certain diseases.  

They are preparing to undergo medical treatment  

Facing illnesses such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, and others can completely turn a life upside down. The stress alone can have a devastating effect on a person’s outlook and even on their fertility. Not to mention there may be side effects from treatment that can impact reproductive organs. Treatments that don’t directly impact your ability to reproduce can still put your life on hold for long periods of time.  

Having the option of freezing your eggs before treatments begin can safeguard any potential plans for a family in the future and remove an enormous layer of unnecessary stress from an already ruinous situation.  

Their employer offers fertility compensation  

Some companies such as Airbnb have partnered with insurance companies such as ‘Carrot’ where each employee has funding to put towards fertility. Without diminishing the commitment required by the patient in order to make egg freezing viable (think hormone therapy and medical visits), it’s a much easier decision to safeguard your reproductive future when the costs are covered.  

They don’t want to “panic partner” 

Wanting a family can, for some people, be an all-consuming feeling and it can lead some folks to partner up with the “wrong” people just to ensure they’ll be able to have children before it is “too late.” Partnering up too quickly after a traumatic breakup, or sacrificing personal values in favor of finding a partner to parent with can have long term detrimental effects. Having the option of freezing your eggs can bring enough peace of mind about the future to create some space and time for more intentional partnership.  

They want to avoid future self-blame or regret 

The psychological weight of self-blame or regret when it comes to decisions around starting a family can be a lot. After all, starting a family, or not starting a family, are choices that have the potential to affect you for the rest of your life. Feel free to look at the act of freezing your eggs as an act of kindness for future you.  

How egg freezing can change your/the world 

On a societal level, advances in medical technology have the power to propel society forward and assist in undoing long standing social inequities by expanding people’s reproductive rights. Providing fertility options that offer women more bodily autonomy, recognize the reality of gender fluidity and the lived experiences of trans folks, and provide the possibility for family structures to change and shift with people’s diverse realities, creates more access to freedom for more people and empowers people to take their lives back.  

On a more personal level, fertility treatment, and egg freezing in particular can be game changers for mental health, taking the pressure off aging, allowing people to focus on their career, on building healthy relationships, and enjoying their child-free years before diving into the adventure that is parenthood, if and when they choose to. Which begs the question: When is the right time to freeze your eggs? More on that another time.