One of the newer and more exciting prospects in reproductive medicine is the emerging technology for cryopreserving, or freezing, human eggs. As many young women delay marriage and childbearing due to career options or relationship flexibility, the idea of egg freezing is an attractive possibility for a few reasons. Single women could store eggs well ahead of menopause to prolong their child-bearing years. Cancer patients could ensure their reproductive abilities by saving eggs in the deep freeze ahead of cancer treatments that often damage them. And of course, the most broadly reaching reason: the ethical dilemmas regarding frozen embryos would be all avoided if the eggs and sperm could be successfully frozen separately and combined post-thaw. Currently, untold thousands of frozen embryos remain in storage waiting for disposition.

The reality of the matter is that the technology for freezing eggs is still experimental and relatively unproven. It is starting to become commercially available at select clinics around the country, but it is recommended that women do their homework first. It is important to understand that the take-home baby rate per egg is extremely low.

In order to obtain eggs to freeze, the patient must undergo ovarian stimulation with hormone medications that carry risks of adverse effects, require frequent blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds, and give no guarantee of the number of eggs produced. Typically, women in their late thirties and early forties are likely to produce only a few eggs, and those eggs will be of lesser quality than eggs produced by younger women. When freezing eggs, women should also realize that to use them later will require ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection), which will add significant cost to the procedure.

Since this is a new and unproven technique, many clinics have little data on success rates for their own patients. In the early years of such programs, the majority of the work is done freezing the eggs and the thawing and attempted fertilization will come in later years. It may take five to ten years to really get reliable statistics for any one clinic.

While this is new and exciting technology in theory, no one should rely entirely on this method for reproduction at this stage. The human egg is very fragile and generally does not survive freezing well yet. It will be a brilliant option for women and solve some of the ethical cryopreservation issues at clinics when it is good enough to be mainstream medical care. It is, however, highly experimental at this time. It is wonderful when people are able to participate in cutting-edge science, but considering the high price and the low success, women should carefully weigh their options.

We have a lot of faith in medical science, possibly too much. People expect good medical solutions for their problems. In our generation of readily accessible birth control, we expect to have complete control over our reproductive lives start to finish. There are some things in life that money just can’t buy and time is one of them. Los Angeles IVF Doctors are specialized and provide solutions for infertility occurs in females.