Having children later in life: freezing eggs

Women in the Netherlands are having children at increasingly later ages. Or they don’t get them because their bodies are no longer suitable for them. There is a solution: freezing eggs at a young age. But how does that work? And how much does freezing eggs cost? Everything about freezing eggs.

Freeze eggs for later

Until not so long ago, women could only have their eggs frozen if there was a medical need. One reason, for example, was that they had to undergo chemotherapy for cancer. Nowadays, even women who have not experienced anything similar can still ensure offspring by having their eggs frozen. This is possible at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. This does happen in the context of an investigation. The mothers and children are followed for years to see whether it was the right decision to do it this way.

How does egg freezing work?

  1. The woman who wants to have her eggs frozen must first inject hormones for 15 days. This promotes egg cell production.
  2. A thick needle is then punctured through the vaginal wall and 8 to 10 eggs are removed from the oviducts.
  3. These eggs are frozen at a temperature of minus 196 degrees Celsius
  4. People cannot simply take these frozen eggs home, they are stored in the hospital
  5. If the woman wants to become pregnant, the egg is first thawed
  6. Sperm from a partner or donor is then added to the egg using the IVF method
  7. The egg is then returned to the woman’s body

Until what age are egg cells transferred?

The AMC has determined that women may become pregnant using this method until the age of 50. However, constructions have already been devised all over the world in which surrogate mothers carry the child for parents who are too old. There are even connections where the egg is flown from America to India and placed in an Indian surrogate mother who then carries on with the pregnancy. The child then goes to the parents who paid for it.

The advantage of freezing eggs at a younger age

  • Older women who want to become pregnant are more likely to freeze their eggs at a young age than if they do so through regular test-tube fertilization (IVF).
  • Regular IVF often does not work well for older women because their eggs are of poor quality. In addition, the chances of miscarriage, twins or a child with Down syndrome increase enormously.
  • According to the AMC, the chance of a healthy child for a 40-year-old woman is much greater with a frozen egg than with regular IVF. By the way, it doesn’t always work. Anything can go wrong with frozen eggs and the child can also be born with a disability.

Costs to freeze eggs

Anyone who wants to have her eggs frozen must pay around 3,000 euros per treatment. For this purpose, approximately 10 eggs are frozen and stored. Yet no one has that amount, because 10 eggs are not enough to increase the chance of pregnancy. Between 3 and 6 treatments are required and that means a bill of between 9,000 and 18,000 euros. Only women who need treatment for medical reasons will receive a refund from their health insurer.

Is egg freezing safe?

There is little experience with freezing eggs and the oldest children born from this treatment are now about 3 years old. Based on this it is therefore impossible to indicate whether the method is really safe and whether it does not cause harm to the child. on a long term. Moreover, there is still debate as to whether this feasibility is justified and where the limits lie in the long run.

Freezing eggs abroad

What is called progressive in the Netherlands has been around for a long time abroad. IN countries such as Japan, Great Britain and the US, women have been able to have their eggs frozen for much longer. Entire egg banks can be found in the United States.