I am in San Diego for the annual ASRM convention for reproductive medicine specialists, to learn about the latest in fertility for the Choice Mom community.
One new research study examined findings about egg freezing options, and whether offspring from vitrified or slow-freeze oocytes (eggs) are showing any abnormalities. Some highlights:
On Egg Freezing Success Rates
A study of 19 women in the United States under the age of 37 had an egg survival rate of 89 percent, a fertilization rate of 78 percent, an implantation rate of 45 percent, and a live-birth rate per transfer of 58 percent. Another study of egg donors and infertile woman reported similar numbers. The report points out that each clinic is likely to have very different rates, and this small group of data from the U.S. is not necessarily applicable to all clinic rates. The report recommends that patients be advised with the success rates of egg freezing at its particular clinic.
Age of Woman
A large study of Italian women (Italy is a leading country in egg freezing technique and research) found that age certainly plays a role in success rates, but did not find any statistically significant difference between women under 34, women 34 to 38, and women over 38. In one study, women over 38 had lower implantation rates (6.5 compared to 10.9 percent), and lower pregnancy rates (10.1 compared to 18.7 percent).
I have generally recommended that for a woman over the age of 35, freezing eggs might simply be delaying a process that she might want to consider earlier: namely, why not go ahead and attempt to become a mother now, if you can, rather than go through the expense of a process that does not give you better odds than doing insemination or IVF now.
But for women under the age of 35, who perhaps want to delay because of career goals, or as they pursue a lasting relationship, egg freezing is no longer considered an experimental procedure.