Ask the Doctor: Egg Freezing

Q: How late is too late when it comes to freezing my eggs?

A: Just as fertility declines as women grow older, the success of fertility treatments, including egg freezing, declines with increased age. Fertility declines somewhat rapidly after age 35; therefore, ideally, eggs should be frozen before then. Studies show slightly diminished pregnancy rates in frozen egg cycles in women age 35-38, with further decreased rates in women over age 38. To date, evidence has not demonstrated whether it’s more cost effective for women to freeze eggs for later use or simply use fresh eggs if they struggle with infertility. Some women who freeze eggs may never need to use them if they are fertile. The decision is highly individualized and dependent on the patient’s age, history, anticipated egg number, and age at which she plans to conceive. Patients considering elective egg freezing benefit greatly from a consultation with an infertility specialist. Preserving the opportunity, and potentially, the ability, to experience motherhood later in life is enough justification for some women to choose egg freezing.

Jessica Scotchie, M.D.

Tennessee Reproductive Medicine

6031 Shallowford Rd., Suite 101

Chattanooga, TN 37421