Freezing fertility: New medicine makes postponing parenthood possible
Updated On: Oct 03 2013 11:10:00 PM EDT
Having a child, not having a child, when to have a child -- all very personal decisions, and for a growing number of women, waiting longer to have a baby has become a trend.
While many women often feel like they’re living in a race to beat the biological clock, advanced medical breakthroughs are making it possible for more women to postpone parenthood.
Melanie Bradshaw got married and was ready to have kids, but that walk down the aisle ended in divorce.
Now Bradshaw, like so many other women in their mid 30’s, is turning to her doctor for help.
"I didn't want to give up that dream of still having that family and having the kids and everything,” said Bradshaw.
The 34-year-old underwent a procedure at a fertility clinic to harvest and freeze her eggs.
"For me, it's empowerment and it's made me a lot stronger," she explained.
In the fall of 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the "experimental” label from egg freezing.
Now, fertility experts across the country are reporting a surge in women choosing to put their eggs on ice, hoping to preserve their fertility for the future.
We pulled the numbers and found only about 2,000 babies have been born from frozen eggs worldwide, mainly via donation programs.
But Dr. Eric Widra with the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology says the technology is still considered young
“Eggs are frozen from young women for a short period of time, so we don't yet know whether freezing eggs from older women, or for a longer period of time, will have consequences. We don't think it will, but we don't know yet."
Most of the women buying in to this procedure are in their late 20s to early 40s.
Psychologist Dr. Joann Galst says there are a few reasons for that, the main one being time to focus on life goals like finding a partner, finishing school or straightening out finances.
But Galst wants these women who are working to establish their careers to know one thing about putting their family on hold.
“Even with high quality eggs, it's not a guarantee that there will be implantation and the live birth that results, which is the ultimate goal," said Galst.
As for Bradshaw, she hasn't stopped looking for Mr. Right. In fact, she says it will help her find him.
"I think that it's taken the pressure off of my shoulders, and it allows me to go and date and meet people,” said Bradshaw.
Freezing your eggs isn’t cheap, and it’s not typically covered by insurance.
With a price tag above $10,000, experts say some women are starting to add egg banking to their list of financial goals, while others are starting a separate savings account for the surgery.