For some women, freezing eggs is a necessity- they may have a predisposition to early menopause or they may be facing medical treatment that could render them infertile. The most common culprits affecting women in this group include chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer or autoimmune illnesses. Regardless, it is critical that these women are given the opportunity to learn about the potential harm to their reproductive potential as well as to discuss options for fertility preservation. For others, egg freezing is considered for social reasons, and is an incredibly personal decision. For these women, it’s important to gather information, to understand the benefits and risks, and to take the step that’s in alignment with their individual journey towards building a family.
The Reproductive Medicine Institute encourages any woman interested in preserving her reproductive potential through egg freezing to meet with a fertility specialist to explore her options; but to help start the conversation, below are some of the most common indications for oocyte cryopreservation, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
- Patients receiving treatment for cancer or other medical (autoimmune) diseases which may render them infertile. Examples of such treatments include chemotherapy and pelvic radiation therapy.
- Genetic Conditions (BRCA, Fragile X permutation)
- Failure to obtain sperm at the time of IVF
- Alternative for couples who are unable to cryopreserve embryos
- Elective cryopreservation to defer childbearing