Arguably the most popular question we are asked, whether in our office or in the Women’s locker room, is when I should freeze my eggs (a.k.a. at what age). And while in our office we can give you a personalized opinion, it’s hard to tell you exactly what to do while waiting in the shower line (although we will try). But what we do tell everyone (friends, patients, and gym acquaintances) is that the reason to freeze and when is often very personal. And although there are better times to do it, there is really no best time. Here are three tips that should get you “hotter” to getting your eggs “colder.”
- How old are you?
Although you may not look a day older than 25, no matter how much sunblock you use, how healthy you eat, or how many times you hit the gym your eggs don’t really care. Egg quantity declines from the moment you take your first breath (and actually even before that!). Nothing you do or don’t do (minus a bad tobacco habit) will halt egg decline, except egg freezing. Egg freezing offers you the chance to freeze a subset of eggs at a particular age, whatever that age is. And just as egg quantity decreases as you age, so does egg quality. Therefore, the younger you are when you freeze eggs, the better quality those eggs will be. So, while yes, it would make sense for us all to freeze our eggs in our twenties when our eggs are at their peak, most of us won’t need to freeze our eggs. Most of us will not experience infertility and will not need to use frozen eggs to achieve a pregnancy. With all of that being said, if you are looking for that magic age at which you are getting “hot” to the “cold,” we would suggest that you pencil egg freezing into your calendar on your 32nd birthday. For most women, 32 offers you a balance between good egg quality and adequate egg quantity at not too premature a point in your life. Happy birthday!
2. Where are you in your relationship?
While we are not asking you to check the single or married box, we are asking you to evaluate where you are in your relationship. Is it serious, are you on the same page about having children, what is your timeline (and do your timelines match up)? Although these are very rarely fun conversations to have, they are super important. Men will make sperm for nearly their entire lives. They can wait way longer than we can to pull the goalie. Make sure he (or she) knows what you want—and when. This should help you decide when and if you should freeze your eggs.
3. What happened in your past?
We are not here to judge; trust us (we went to college, too!). The past that we want to know about is your medical and GYN history (medications you have taken, surgeries you have had, the pain you feel with your period) as well as your mom’s, sister’s, aunt’s, and grandma’s fertility history. Did your mom have an early menopause? Did your sister have a hard time getting pregnant? We not only mirror our female relatives when it comes to our physical appearance but also how our ovaries function. Therefore, in many ways, before you can move forward, you need to look backwards!
By combining all three—age, relationship status, and your past—we can sum up when and if you should freeze your eggs. And if it adds up (a.k.a. you are getting “hot” to your eggs getting “cold”), the best way to kick the process off is to get real information (#trulyMD) on what the process is like. Not everything you hear or read is true. So, the best advice we can give you is to talk to your GYN, talk to a fertility doctor, or talk to us at Truly MD in the gym locker room about the process. We can help you decided when it’s time to take the plunge!