For a while now there has been a debate about freezing eggs and whether or not it’s reliable or worth it. Before reading Get Me Out by Randi Epstein I would have never really given much thought it and would’ve said “why not”, but as I embarked on the last chapters of the book I began to question it too. There are many contributing factors that you have to consider before making the decision. Some negative and Some positive.
“We’re talking about injections of potent hormones drugs that hyper stimulate your ovaries to spew dozens of eggs in a cycle followed by invasive procedure to retrieve them”-pg. 231 from Get Me Out
The process of human oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) is an uncomfortable and expensive one. First if the patient isn’t in a hurry to freeze the eggs, the doctor will give her self-administered birth control. Then the patient will have to take hormone injections that can make her bloated and moody for two weeks as she produces more eggs. Lastly she will have to undergo an egg retrieval procedure where the doctor can take and freeze up to 8-12 eggs. When she comes back to thaw and use the frozen eggs, she will have to undergo another round of hormone injections and eventually the eggs will be injected with ICSI and placed back in her uterus.
(This picture is showing how the egg changes during the freezing process and when it is injected with the ICSI)
“The catch-and it’s a big one-is that no one knows whether the process works until the eggs are defrosted. Sometimes freezing destroys eggs, but you can’t tell the bad eggs from the good ones in the frozen state.”- pg. 230 from Get Me Out
Sadly, after doing and paying all that you do there is still no guarantee that your eggs will survive. In the book I constantly read how despite their best efforts not all the eggs survive and not all women come out getting successfully pregnant. In the book it tells me that. Also egg freezing although it has improved is still a somewhat experimental procedure because the government doesn’t keep track of the numbers of babies successfully produced therefore making some statistics murky. This is the main factor that makes most doctors only suggest this if the patient is in dire need.
But besides all of the troublesome things that happen during the process and the possibly of the eggs not surviving, there is still the possibility that it will happen. And although I wouldn’t personally do this, I do applaud the people who do because they are willing to go through all of these extra procedure for a child. Human Oocyte Cryopreservation not only gives people with diseases a chance at kids but also working women a chance at kids. Although it’s expensive and experimental, at the end of the day the question isn’t whether or not it’s worth it but whether or not you will regret not taking the chance.