Postponing motherhood with egg freezing
This is what actress Eva Longoria did and she has just given birth to her first child at age 43. Due to work commitments and contracts, the actress decided to freeze her eggs while she was working on the “Desperate Housewives” series. This way, she was able to delay motherhood.
So what exactly is egg freezing? It involves extracting healthy eggs in order to freeze them using cryopreservation so that they can be used when needed. The ultra-fast freezing process is known as vitrification. The vitrified eggs are unharmed by the process and their conditions are exactly the same as at the time of freezing.
What happens next? The eggs are stored in nitrogen tanks until the time comes. The eggs that are going to be used are then thawed and fertilised with partner or donor sperm through IVF. The fertilised embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus for implantation of the embryo and to allow the pregnancy to follow its natural course. Of course, the woman may get pregnant naturally, in which case she will not need to use her frozen eggs, but they will always be there if she needs them.
When is the preservation of fertility recommended? There are several reasons why it may be indicated but the decision must always be personal and voluntary. In general, we recommend it:
- When a woman wishes to delay motherhood for personal or professional reasons.
- She currently does not have a partner and wants to ensure the possibility of becoming mother, either alone or with a future partner.
- On medical grounds, when diagnosed with a low ovarian reserve, if she has to undergo surgery or treatments that could affect fertility. Some cancer treatments can cause infertility. This is why Dexeus Mujer gives our cancer patients the option of preserving their fertility for free so that they do not have to give up the possibility of becoming mothers in the future if they wish.
If you decide to put off having children, you can preserve your fertility at any time, although Dexeus Mujer recommends you do it before you reach the age of 35.