- 19. 2. 2019
- Reproductive health
SOCIAL FREEZING AS FERTILITY PRESERVATION HAS BECOME AN IMPORTANT PART OF FERTILITY AWARENESS.
NEW TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES IN CRYOPRESERVATION HAVE MADE THIS A VIABLE OPTION SPECIALLY FOR MANY YOUNG WOMEN WHO PLAN TO HAVE CHILDREN, BUT ARE NOT READY TO BE PREGNANT YET.
Time flies fast when you are in your twenties and thirties. The priorities are education, careers, and relationships, but the biological clock ticks away in the background. And there it is, the option of fertility preservation - so called social freezing.
Egg freezing is a way to press pause on your fertility while you set up your life for a baby. Specially when statistics show fertility issues are more and more dealt with within modern population.
For sure it is not an easy decision to freeze your eggs and also the cost may be huge concern. What to expect from fertility clinic´s egg freezing package? Let´s have a look at the financial side of fertility preservation for women.
FREEZING EGGS = SAVING MONEY IN THE LONG TERM?
To freeze eggs can be a significant investment, especially for young women in the early stages of their careers, when they are most likely to choose this option. However from the long perspective it can be a choice to save the money at the end. Taking into account the costs of egg preservation, storage, and IVF treatment a woman who freezes her eggs around 30 and uses them around 40 will save huge amount of money throughout the entire process.
Because using your own younger eggs for IVF once you are ready to became a parent results in much higher success rate than using eggs that have aged along with you, which most likely leads into more IVF cycles before becoming pregnant. Also using frozen eggs is less expensive than a fresh IVF cycle.
Of course, there are many factors involved, including the age at the time of freezing the eggs and the age at the time of planning to become pregnant, as well as personal medical and fertility history, so this is something to be always discussed with fertility specialist.
AN AVERAGE EGG-FREEZING CYCLE
Generally the basic price of a cycle will include the cost of the services receiving throughout a cycle, that means:
TESTS AND MONITORING
To start the process is to undergo initial tests to determine ovarian health and function and to set up individual treatment plan. Than several visits to fertility clinic follows - throughout the ovarian stimulation process to check the development of follicles and eggs with blood tests and ultrasound.
EGG RETRIEVAL PROCEDURE
Once follicles have matured, the „trigger shot“ follows which induce the final maturation of the eggs. The egg retrieval procedure follows on after 35 to 36 hours. It is performed under a gentle anaesthetic and usually takes about 10 minutes.
After retrieving eggs, they are taken to a laboratory to be frozen. This process is called oocyte cryopreservation. The newer cryo-vitrification techniques, also known as „flash freezing“ cools the eggs instantly to sub-zero temperatures. This allows the eggs to be preserved with very little risk to their quality.
COSTS INVOLVED IN EGG FREEZING
Not all of the associated costs of freezing eggs will be covered by the fee you pay to the fertility clinic.
Fertility specialist will write the prescriptions for the fertility medications used to stimulate your ovaries during the cycle - the cost of medications are not included in the cycle. This can be one of the most expensive parts of egg-freezing.
Anaesthesia costs for the egg retrieval procedure might be by some clinics charged separately from the rest of the cycle. This could be because the anaesthesia is often administered by an outside provider who comes to the clinic only for the procedure. This may vary by clinic: some may have an on-staff anesthesiologist.
Storage fees for frozen eggs are on a yearly basis and the cost is not included in the overall price of an egg freezing cycle. The amount of time you are planning to store your eggs before using them is a factor in the total cost. Generally, frozen eggs can be stored for about 10 years without any appreciable loss in quality, thanks to new, better methods of freezing and storage.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE STARTING THE TREATMENT
LEARN ABOUT YOUR CURRENT OVARIAN FUNCTION
The first step for anyone thinking about freezing eggs is to find out how your ovaries are producing right now. An ovarian reserve test uses blood tests and an ultrasound to determine how many eggs you have, and how much effort your ovaries are putting in to produce mature eggs when you ovulate. This portrait of your ovarian functioning will be an important starting point for everything that comes next.
ASK FERTILITY SPECIALIST HOW MANY EGGS YOU SHOULD FREEZE
In an average ovarian stimulation cycle, you can expect to produce around 10 eggs, though this can vary quite a bit. Based on the results of your ovarian reserve test and your medical history, your doctor should be able to estimate your ideal number of eggs to freeze. As each cycle is charged separately, knowing how many eggs is ideal to freeze, will help you plan financially.
TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT PACKAGE OFFERINGS
Some clinics offer „all inklusive“ packages for a flat fee which may appear very attractive at first, but make sure you understand what „all inklusive“ actually means, and whether it is actually a savings over a „pay as you go“ plan. For example, you might see a flat fee package which guarantees up to four cycles to reach a target number of eggs. If you need all four than it could be a great deal, but if you produce all the eggs you need in your first or second cycle, you could end up paying far more than you need to.
LEARN ABOUT WHAT IS INCLUDED IN EACH CYCLE
Not every clinic structures fees in the same way. There might be a package that looks much less expensive, only to find that it does not include something that is covered in another package, pushing the overall cost up. Some clinics may have more highly priced packages which do include extras such as anaesthesia for egg retrieval and the first year of storage.
EDUCATION AND GOOD INFORMATION ARE BEST ALLIES AT ANY STAGE OF YOUR FERTILITY JOURNEY.
DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU CAN NOT AFFORD TO TAKE THIS STEP TOWARDS PRESERVING YOUR FERTILITY. YOU MAY FIND THAT EGG FREEZING IS WITHIN REACH AND OFFERS INVALUABLE OPTION OF FERTILITY PRESERVATION.