This post is sponsored by CCRM. Thank you for supporting brands who support TCM. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own.
A little known fact about me: I actually thought about freezing my eggs about a decade ago when I was turning 20. My mom and I had just read this book and learned about the BRCA gene mutations. If you aren't familiar, we all have BRCA genes, but there can be mutations that increase the likelihood of breast, ovarian and other types of cancer such as colon and pancreatic cancer. Our family history put us at an elevated risk for the mutations, so we got tested.
I remember finding out about our elevated risk and the days leading up to the results and playing out every worst case scenario if I was positive: What if cancer treatments put my ability to have kids at risk? What if I choose to go the preventative route and remove my ovaries? Would I do that now or take the risk and wait until my late twenties and pray I'm ready to start a family by then? Should I freeze my eggs just to be safe? And on, and on, the spiraling thoughts went. Fortunately, we both tested negative for the mutations.
Why are women freezing their eggs?
While BRCA mutations, and other genetic mutations that can lead to the removal of the ovaries, are definitely one factor, there are still plenty of reasons why women are turning towards freezing their eggs today. There are certain medical illnesses or cancer that can impair fertility. Other women may have a family history or genetic predisposition to premature ovarian failure. Some women choose to do it electively to preserve their ability to have children, while delaying the actual childbearing for one reason or another. Regardless of the why, choosing to freeze one's eggs is a deeply personal choice and should be supported.
What You Need To Know About Egg Freezing Before You Do It
Where you go matters
In your fertility journey, just like choosing a partner matters, choosing an egg freezing clinic matters. Your clinic should be somewhere that you trust and feels easy to work with. If you're unsure about your exact plans, it's helpful to choose a clinic who has experience with IVF and egg freezing. Ultimately, you want to feel supported through this process and know that your clinic has experience and is working on your behalf and you're more than just another body walking through the door.
Data and success rates
One of the first questions you should ask an egg freezing clinic is what their thaw data and success rates are. After all, your ultimate goal is to have a baby one day, so you'll want a clinic that excels at creating embryos and has great live birth rates. CCRM points out that “freezing isn't about the freeze, it's about the clinic's ability to help you achieve pregnancy when you're ready to thaw your eggs and create embryos.” You'll want to choose a clinic like CCRM who has exceptional rates compared to other clinics out there.
Is everything under one roof?
Fertility in itself can be a stressful enough issue, so make your life as easy as possible by choosing a place that does everything under one roof. The last thing you need to do, is run all over town or get stuck in the middle of a dreaded game of telephone because one place freezes your eggs, another stores them, another thaws, fertilizes, and another transfers! No thank you! I'm exhausted just writing all those steps!
When a place does everything under one roof, like CCRM, it ensures a level of quality control and expedited test results, analysis, and consistency of services throughout the process. They make it so patients do not have to go anywhere else to pursue any part of their fertility journey. This gives patients less stress overall and allows them to build the patient-to-physician connection. CCRM promises to be a “partner for life in fertility” from egg freezing to IVF. They even do check-ins ten years down the road to ensure your reproductive life is going well; whether that means having another baby or struggling to do so, CCRM physicians provide life-long support through simple and difficult journeys.
What is the egg freezing clinic's reputation?
It was only six or seven years ago in 2012 that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the “experimental label” for egg freezing procedures. In other words, before the lift, the egg freezing procedure was only really available to egg donors and cancer patients looking to preserve fertility prior to treatment. Over the years, egg freezing has become more popular; even making headlines as many top tech companies began offering it as an employee benefit and boutique egg freezing clinics are popping up all over the place.
Before you get caught up in the latest and greatest trendy egg freezing spot, it's important to fully understand the clinics reputation – after all, these boutiques are still relatively new. Many only offer egg freezing services and outsource their specialists and testing needs. It's important to know the details of who the specialists are and what tests are being sent where so you have a full picture of their reputation as well. Again, this is another benefit of going with a clinic who does everything under one roof like CCRM. CCRM has a dedicated team of in-house reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists and geneticists, plus its a full suite of fertility services, innovative technology and cutting-edge labs, and they use their own data to deliver consistent and successful results.
What is your age?
While you can freeze your eggs as long as you're still producing them – a new study in the journal Human Reproduction had a major takeaway: eggs frozen before 36 years of age, have a better live birth outcome compared to those frozen after 36. While your age shouldn't be a deal breaker in whether or not you move forward, it is a helpful tool in managing expectations and prepping the questions you should bring with you when interviewing clinics.
What is the cost of egg freezing?
The cost of freezing your eggs can vary widely. Generally, you're looking at pricing between $8,000-15,000 per cycle. The majority of the cost is typically out-of-pocket, however some insurance policies may cover it.
For more information on egg freezing, visit CCRM who is dedicated to delivering leading patient outcomes for people who want to have a baby. They're the industry's leading pioneer in fertility science, research, advancement and treatment. CCRM prides themselves on offering prospective parents the fastest path to the healthiest baby. They offer access to a national network of award-winning physicians, a full suite of fertility services, innovative technology, and cutting edge labs. Plus, CCRM has recently been collaborating with a TCM favorite, THINX, an awesome alternative for sanitary products, to deepen their commitment and empower more women with information and tools that will positively impact their future!
Learn more about CCRM here: https://www.ccrmivf.com/