Egg freezing an attractive option for women

Study shows lack of stable partner is key
  • Deborah Condon

Egg freezing has become an increasingly attractive option for Irish women, it has been claimed.

According to Dr Ahmed Omar, clinical director at Beacon CARE Fertility in Dublin, what ever the reason for choosing this option, ‘it gives women more choice to preserve their fertility for the future.'

Dr Omar was responding to the results of a US study, which found that the primary motivation for women choosing to freeze their eggs was not being in a secure relationship.

He said that for women thinking about egg freezing, ideally they should consider this before the age of 36.

"Extensive research shows that a women's fertility begins to decline at 30, with a significant drop at 35, and an even more significant drop by the time a woman reaches 40.

"Even with the medical advances of IVF, we cannot change our biological clock and the reality is that when a woman gets to 40, up to 80% of her eggs have a chromosomal anomaly," he explained.

He said that poor egg quality can lead to a number of issues, including problems conceiving, miscarriage and genetic conditions.

"By freezing your eggs when you're younger, you have the best possible chance of starting or growing your family," Dr Omar added.

The study by researchers at Yale University found that women were not freezing their eggs in order to pursue an education or career, but for reasons ‘mostly revolving around women's lack of stable partnerships with men committed to marriage and parenting'.

Some 150 women attending four IVF clinics in the US and three in Israel took part.

"The medical literature and media coverage of oocyte cryopreservation usually suggest that elective egg freezing is being used to defer or delay childbearing among women pursuing education and careers. Our study, however, suggests that the lack of a stable partner is the primary motivation," commented Dr Marcia Inhorn of Yale University.

The results of the study were presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Barcelona.


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