Why do women need to think about preserving their fertility?

Today we are going to look at a real-life case, and one that represents a recurrent issue in today’s society. It is a situation that many of you will be able to empathise with.

Vitrification of oocytes

Not long ago, I was chatting with a friend who made a reference to the fact that I work in a fertility clinic and then said in hushed tones that she was thinking about visiting my clinic because she wants to have a child. My thirty-four year old friend is an independent, successful career woman and home owner. At the time, she told me that she was not completely certain about continuing with her career as it stood and combining working life with single motherhood. She also mentioned a further concern that, although we would rather not admit it, having a child could create problems in the future if she found the partner she dreamed of. As well as being a mother, she also saw herself in a stable relationship with someone in the future. The conclusions she had reached were relevant. I asked her some straightforward questions: How do you see your future? In your vision of the future, do you see yourself as having started a family? She categorically answered yes, and that this was what she wanted. This led me to think that her solution consisted of not having a baby straight away if she didn’t want to and to consider other options, such as fertility preservation. Although the age of 34 is not the optimum age for carrying out this process -fertility is at its peak around the age of 20-25- she still had options that would result in less drastic changes in her life if she wasn’t completely sure. She looked at me, surprised. She knew absolutely nothing about fertility preservation. I told her that if she froze her eggs -or vitirifed her eggs, which is the method currently used- now, at the age of 34, with 12 eggs there was a 60% chance of getting pregnant in the future and with 20 vitrified eggs, it increased to 80%.  This does not guarantee pregnancy but it does represent a good chance.

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This example is a case in point but similar situations have happened on several occasions.

Another time I was able to recommend this procedure to another friend, who was in a stable relationship without being married. She told me that she wanted to have a child but, although they had talked about it, she was about to leave her current job and start a new one. As the last two years of her life had consisted of a lot of changes she didn’t think that she was settled enough to start thinking about having a family. My answer was the same. Before making a decision it is essential to find out all the necessary information and ascertain what stage your fertility is at. Once you have this information, you can evaluate the options and either start a family and have a child with your partner or safeguard your future by freezing your eggs. Do not make a hasty decision and run the risk of making an incorrect one. Having sufficient information will enable you to make informed decisions wisely.

Finally, both friends for different reasons decided to freeze their eggs at the clinic. For a cost of 2500 euros, they can rest assured that they have pursued an intelligent course of action and have chosen the best option without ruling anything out. Whatever happens in the future, their desire to have children will not have been taken away from them due to the passing of time. When they decide the time is right, their eggs are waiting for them here in our lab.

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