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Image / Self / Health & Wellness

‘Freezing your eggs is no guarantee of a child’: The questions to ask before freezing your eggs


By Edaein OConnell
19th Mar 2022
‘Freezing your eggs is no guarantee of a child’: The questions to ask before freezing your eggs

There are some important questions you need to ask yourself (and answer) before deciding to freeze your eggs

Women’s priorities are changing.

In decades past, it seemed a biological time bomb was ticking for women and their reproductive systems. Having children was time-dependent and women may have felt under pressure to have children before a certain age threshold passed — regardless of whether she felt ready. But, with the progress of science and reproductive laws in Ireland, things are changing.

In the past 10 years, egg freezing has quickly become a feasible option when it comes to family planning. More and more women are freezing their eggs for personal, social and health reasons. It’s easy to forget that egg freezing is a relatively new medical concept and we are still learning about the process and the aftermath.

Egg freezing

Egg freezing is a procedure that a female can undergo to preserve some of her eggs until a time that she wants to or is able to have a baby.

There are a variety of reasons that people decide to opt for egg freezing. For example, if you are undergoing cancer treatment, you may want to freeze your eggs beforehand to prevent treatment from affecting your egg count. Other women are just simply want to defer having children to a later time when they feel more ready.

The initial extraction costs approximately €3,000 and there are usually storage fees and a fee when you decide to use your eggs. The outcome of egg freezing can vary based on when your eggs were frozen and for how long but there’s an expectation that about 90% of your eggs will survive until you’re ready to conceive.

The key questions

Similar to IVF, the process requires a series of self-administered injections followed by a short, outpatient procedure. This means aside from the needle, which you may need help with, the ability to take time off for the procedure and someone to take you home, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

However, there is also a mental aspect that should not be ignored. According to Caitriona McPartlin, the Chief Operating Officer of ReproMed, women should ask themselves a series of questions before deciding to proceed with egg freezing. “Are they freezing their eggs because they have no choice or are they freezing their eggs because they are truly taking control of their own lives? If women are fully informed about what is involved and are entirely comfortable with their decision, that really minimises the mental impact of it.”

With that in mind, education is a crucial part of the process and you should not be afraid to ask as many questions as you can at your initial consultation. Ask exactly what is included in the cost and check if your insurance might cover part of it. McPartlin also suggests considering all of the potential outcomes. “If you are single, and don’t meet a partner, would you be then okay to use donor sperm?”

And finally, it’s important to remember that with so many factors at play, both scientifically and within your own life, freezing your eggs is no guarantee of a child in the future. Think of it as a useful tool to securing your future as a parent, but like all things in life, it’s no guarantee.