Women can opt to freeze their eggs at any point during their 20s and 30s, but the optimal age for egg freezing, in terms of resulting pregnancy chances, appears to be 34. However, the financial implications of the procedure can be a deterrent for many. Moreover, after the age of 38, the process may not be as beneficial due to both egg quality and cost considerations.
Age and Quality
The younger a woman is when she freezes her eggs, the healthier those eggs are likely to be, leading to a higher probability of a successful pregnancy later on. While fertility and egg freezing may not be top of mind for women in their 20s, by the age of 30, many start considering their fertility health. They realize that delaying pregnancy or egg freezing could potentially make it more challenging to conceive in the future.
Research suggests that women who freeze their eggs before the age of 34 have the best chances of a successful pregnancy from a cycle of frozen eggs. After 38, the quality of eggs declines more rapidly, making it less beneficial to preserve these eggs compared to opting for multiple rounds of IVF using fresh eggs.
Age and Cost
For women in their 20s, unless there are medical reasons, the costs associated with egg freezing and storage may not be justifiable, as they might conceive naturally within the next 10 to 15 years. However, by the age of 30, women start to weigh the costs of preserving their fertility against the potential costs of egg freezing, especially if they don’t plan to have children in the near future. In fact, egg freezing might be a more cost-effective option than multiple rounds of IVF later in life using older, less healthy eggs.
Research indicates that 62% of 35-year-old women who freeze their eggs and attempt to conceive at 40 are successful, with a cost of $40,000. In contrast, only 42% of women who solely rely on IVF at the age of 40 achieve a successful pregnancy, with a cost exceeding $55,000.
The Bottom Line
Considering both age and egg quality, the ideal age range for egg freezing, without risking unnecessary expenditure, is between 30 to 37. It requires foresight to consider egg freezing at this age, but if having children is part of your future plans, it’s just another aspect of “family planning.”
Remember, understanding your menstrual cycle, tracking ovulation, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can play a significant role in your fertility journey. Tools like fertility apps can be a great aid in this process.