social freezing

Social freezing – cryopreservation and storage of oocytes

„When I was 31, I went to breakfast with two classmates from college. One was married and pregnant with her second child, and the other was just before the wedding. I was after a very successful party, I looked at both of them and I said to myself that I would like to have what they have one day, but not now. “

Julie heard from her friends about the AMH test (anti-Müllerian hormone, which is used to determine the active ovarian reserve – the number of active eggs). „So I thought I’d go get an AMH to find out how I’m doing.” The result was worse than expected. So Julie decided to find out what her options were.

“I am quite a proactive and pragmatic person. So I started looking for information pretty much from the beginning. Personally, I didn’t  meet anyone I knew he had experience with freezing eggs. ”After consulting with three different fertility doctors, Julie decided to have the eggs picked-up and frozen.

Another reason was for 34-year-old Alice to freeze eggs

„I always knew I would have children at a later age, and I liked the idea of freezing eggs. But I used to get the impression that it’s not that simple and that there’s not much chance of success. I think it certainly was that way five or ten years ago, but now the technology has improved. ”

I decide to freeze my eggs because I had just broken up with my long term boyfriend, knew my fertility was declining and wanted to do something to feel as though I was investing in my future, giving myself an option for down the track.

However, Alice was still hesitant because she was afraid of the effects this process would have on her health.

„I was afraid that it would be an invasive and demanding procedure – physically and hormonally. But when I talked to an IVF specialist, I no longer felt so scared. I was still nervous, but in the end it was much easier than I thought.“

What does this actually entail?

Freezing eggs is a relatively simple method of maintaining a woman’s fertility. The woman undergoes about 14 days of hormonal stimulation, after which her eggs are colledted. Collection takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

The collected eggs are frozen using a modern method called vitrification and then safely stored. Frozen eggs can be stored for many years.

Surprising consequences

During the treatment, both women noticed with surprise that it was very reassuring. Julie says: “The day after egg collection, I felt great physically. Everything went really well. In every sense of the word, I am much calmer now. I know I’ve done everything I can.“

Alice wished she could go back in time and talk to her younger self. „As soon as I started stimulating, there was a huge relief, which I did not expect. The hormones had no side effects, I just felt happy. If I used to know what I know now, I would come to the clinic much earlier. I was supported by my family, friends, and the doctors who cared for me. I want to tell other women that this is not a big procedure and can help them calm down.“

Security for the future?

IVF specialists point out that the freezing of eggs is not a 100% guarantee that a woman will have a child in the future thanks to them. Although egg collection, freezing and storage have been taking place around the world for some time, we do not yet have enough data to estimate how much women will increase their chances of having a child.

The results also vary from center to center. The results in the Helios Sanatorium are close to the results with fresh unfrozen eggs, but the woman must arrive on time, ideally by the age of 35.

„I know that some fertility experts point out that having frozen eggs is no guarantee that I will ever get pregnant. But people experience fertility problems at different ages, and no one can ever promise them that they will succeed 100%. I think it’s best to use all the options you have so that you don’t regret being able to do something and not do it. I hope I don’t have to use my frozen eggs at all. But I’m glad to know that I have them stored at the clinic “, says Alice.

„It’s also definitely not like I have my eggs frozen so that I don’t have to look for a serious relationship yet. I just don’t want a relationship at all costs – someone does that because they’re afraid of wasting their chances on children and then they’re in a dysfunctional partnership, which isn’t good either.“

Julie realizes that it is not sure if she will become a mother with her eggs. But just because she had the eggs frozen means that she increased her chances of having a baby in the future.

Public opinion

Julie believes that in time, freezing eggs will be quite common. „I think the social stigma that this matter had is gone. In short, our society is evolving, and what came to us unthinkable a few years ago is now perfectly normal. ”

Have these women inspired you? Interested in more information? Book a non-binding consultation where an IVF specialist – a fertility specialist – will take care of you.

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