In conversations with a handful of 30-something single Toronto ladies with places to be and people to see, the idea of freezing one’s eggs for a later date is a common topic.
In theory, it makes sense; if you feel the pressure of the gun to your head that is your ticking biological clock, but just aren’t ready to make diapers a household staple, you may as well put your eggs in a deep-freeze in the meantime. At least, that seems to be the consensus among this set of working women who seek a little reassurance that motherhood is at least a possibility.
For one friend, it was either freezing her eggs or settling for a man – any man – she didn’t necessarily care about. The limited lifespan of the reproductive cycle can add a lot of pressure on women, after all, taking a major mental toll when they inevitably question whether they’ve missed the boat (sadly, this is only made worse thanks to our perpetually disappointing, swipe-based modern dating culture). That’s where egg freezing comes in – but there are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.
One cycle of egg freezing will set you back $5,000 to $10,000, in addition to $300-$500 per year for storage fees.
First of all, freezing your eggs doesn’t come cheap. One cycle of egg freezing will set you back $5,000 to $10,000, in addition to $300-$500 per year for storage fees. Hormones and medications can range from $3,000 to $6,000. Let’s not forget the $3000 tab for IVF, once you’re ready. None of this is covered in Ontario if the choice to do so is non-medical. So, the reality is that the option is out of reach for many, especially given Toronto’s high cost of living. For those with deep enough pockets (or generous grandchild-craving parents), however, freezing your eggs is an increasingly popular option.
The process will take a toll on your body, in addition to your wallet. If needles aren’t your thing, keep in mind that a woman has to inject herself with fertility drugs each day to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs, and those eggs are retrieved in an often-painful process using an ultrasound-guided needle. You may also need to take time off work, as the side effects can be intense for some women. Many may experience uncontrollable weight gain.
You’ll also have to make some important decisions. For example, are you going to fertilize the egg? While fertilized eggs have a higher success rate, most women I spoke with would rather freeze their eggs alone in the hopes that Mr. Right (and his sperm) will come along sooner rather than later. Many Canadian fertility clinics require women to participate in a counselling session before she decides whether she will freeze her eggs.
If you’re debating freezing your eggs, you may want to start by getting a fertility test at your OB-GYN. To determine whether or not she is eligible, a woman must then undergo a verification process that involves ultrasounds, blood tests and other medical tests to assess her ovarian reserves. Egg-freezing magic definitely doesn’t happen overnight.
Of course, there are no guarantees that your frozen egg will ever become a baby. The reality is that the whole freezing eggs phenomenon is still in its infancy itself (the first Canadian clinic to offer such services outside of for cancer patients did so in 2007), but – by the looks of it – it’s only going to become more mainstream.
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility reveals that the very best time for a healthy woman to freeze her eggs is 32 and 33.
Understanding the realities of the modern day working woman, more progressive companies are now starting to cover the cost of egg freezing. A few years back, both Facebook and Apple offered up to $20,000 in benefits to cover “non-medical” egg freezing. The hope is that more companies follow suit.
Regardless of who will cover the tab, a quick Google search will yield no shortage of Toronto fertility clinics to choose from. And you may want to act soon; a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility reveals that the very best time for a healthy woman to freeze her eggs is 32 and 33. Once they’ve past 37, there was said to be little point – in fact, many North American clinics refuse women after this age (don’t shoot the messenger).
Have you tried freezing your eggs in Toronto? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.