Are you concerned about your fertility? Egg freezing may be the answer. Learn more about this exciting new technology and how it can help you have the family you've always wanted.

Egg Freezing And The Future Of Reproduction

Egg freezing is a process by which a woman’s eggs are retrieved and frozen for future use. The eggs can be stored for many years and thawed when the woman is ready to conceive. Egg freezing is a rapidly evolving fertility preservation option for women who want to delay childbearing.

Egg freezing has been used for over two decades to preserve the fertility of cancer patients and other women facing medically necessary treatments that might damage their eggs. However, the process has only recently been perfected to the point where it is a viable option for elective fertility preservation.

Advantages of Egg Freezing

  • Egg freezing offers women the opportunity to delay childbearing until they are ready. Women are waiting longer to have children for a variety of reasons, including pursuing education and careers. Egg freezing allows women to take control of their fertility and preserve their eggs until they are ready to have children.
  • Egg freezing can improve your chances of having a baby. The success rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using frozen eggs are similar to IVF using fresh eggs, and in some cases, may even be higher. As egg freezing technology continues to improve, success rates are expected to increase.
  • Egg freezing is less expensive and less invasive than other fertility preservation options. Egg freezing does not require the use of hormones or surgery, and is less expensive than embryo freezing. Egg freezing is also less invasive than ovarian tissue freezing, which requires surgery.

Disadvantages of Egg Freezing

  • Egg freezing is not guaranteed to work. The success of egg freezing depends on a number of factors, including the age of the woman at the time of egg freezing, the number of eggs retrieved, and the quality of the eggs. There is no guarantee that the eggs will survive the freezing and thawing process, or that they will be fertilized once thawed.
  • Egg freezing is expensive. The cost of egg freezing can range from $5,000 to $10,000, plus the cost of annual storage fees. Some insurance companies cover the cost of egg freezing for medical reasons, but most do not cover the cost of elective egg freezing.
  • Egg freezing requires time and commitment. Egg freezing is a time-consuming process that requires multiple visits to the fertility clinic. The egg retrieval procedure is performed under anesthesia, and the eggs must be stored in a cryopreservation tank for long-term storage.

Egg freezing is a rapidly evolving fertility preservation option that offers women the opportunity to delay childbearing. While egg freezing is not guaranteed to work, it is less expensive and less invasive than other fertility preservation options. Egg freezing requires time and commitment, but it can be a viable option for women who want to preserve their fertility.

Women are increasingly opting to freeze their eggs, especially as more companies offer it as a benefit. But those who are among the early adopters see a big opportunity to improve the experience for the next generation.

Kristina Simmons, a chief of staff and investor at Khosla Ventures, is one of many women who decided to freeze her eggs.

Thousands of women do this every year, for a variety of reasons: Because they don’t want kids now but worry that their eggs will no longer be viable when they decide to try, because they haven’t met the right partner yet, to hedge against the possibility of health problems later on or for other reasons.

But Simmons stands out among her peers: She’s one of a few women who are investing in start-ups that aim to solve many of the biggest problems with egg freezing today.

In going through the process herself, Simmons saw a lot of room for improvement. For many women, especially those who aren’t covered at all or only partially by insurance, it costs thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. And it’s also a very involved process that requires hormone injections and regular blood draws at the clinic.

In a bid to change that, Simmons, who’s in her early thirties, has invested in a couple of start-ups in the space. Overture, a biotechnology start-up that is also backed by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, aims to use technology to make the egg freezing process more affordable and accessible. Higia, a wearable that can be placed beneath a bra to detect breast cancer early and is also moving into fertility-tracking, which might help women figure out if and when they should look into egg freezing.

Simmons said she’s currently in talks to invest a handful of other companies, also related to egg freezing and women’s health more broadly. “I’m passionate about rethinking this for women altogether,” she said.

The number of women opting to freeze their eggs has skyrocketed since 2012, when the American Society of Reproductive Medicine stopped classifying it as an experimental procedure. In 2009, only 500 women underwent egg freezing cycles, but in 2016, there were 9,000. That’s the most recently available data, but that number is expected to be far higher today given the bump in insurance coverage for egg freezing. As a result, U.S. fertility clinics generated close to $2 billion in revenue in 2017, and they’re popping up across the country.

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Egg Freezing And The Future Of Reproduction