Focus on Partnership Drives Most Egg Freezing

FRIDAY, July 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Women who choose to have their eggs frozen aren’t necessarily putting off having children because they’re laser-focused on their careers, new research suggests.

It’s more likely that a lack of a stable, fulfilling relationship is what’s behind those decisions, the Yale study authors found.

The study of 150 women undergoing egg freezing in the United States or Israel found that 85 percent of the women didn’t have a partner. Of those who did have a partner, they reported that their partner wasn’t ready or refused to have children, or the relationship was new or uncertain.

“The portrayal of egg-freezing women as selfish ‘careerists’ is incorrect,” said study author Marcia Inhorn, a professor of anthropology at Yale.

“Most of these women are successful professionals, but they’ve been looking for committed relationships and have been unable to find them. Thus, partnership problems, not career planning, is by far the main reason for egg freezing at the present time,” she said.

Elective egg freezing is a relatively new technology that uses a process to fast-freeze the eggs. In 2013, around 5,000 egg-freezing cycles were performed in the United States. In 2018, it’s predicted that number will be about 76,000, the researchers said.

Dr. Tomer Singer is director of the egg freezing program at Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, N.Y. He said the several-week process begins with hormone shots to stimulate and ripen the eggs, and then a trigger shot when it’s time to retrieve the eggs.

During the egg retrieval, the patient receives light sedation. The doctor uses ultrasound to guide the retrieval, which is done through the vagina so no incision is needed. Singer said the procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and usually the woman can go home about an hour later.

Each cycle of egg retrieval costs about $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the center, Singer said. The cost of the drugs adds another $2,000 to $6,000. And, storage of the eggs costs between $500 and $1,000 a year after the first year, he added.

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