The process of egg freezing is becoming more common amongst woman as more wait until later in life to have children. It helps delay the biological clock however, a new study found that almost half of the women who had frozen their eggs regretted making that decision.
The study out of the Univesity of California San Fransico Egg Freezing Clinic surveyed thousands of women who had frozen their eggs between 2012-2016. On average, the women were interviewed two years after their procedures. Eighty-nine percent of the women said they thought they'd be glad they froze their eggs even if they didn't end up using them to have a child but turns out it was a lot less; forty-nine percent of the women didn't fully approve of their decision.
Both the researchers in this study, as well as OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry, are surprised by these findings. The researchers said it had to do with the amount of emotional support, the amount of information they had before, and also, it depended about how many eggs were retrieved. Those who retrieved a higher number of eggs had a higher level of satisfaction compared to those who retrieved lower numbers of eggs.
The egg freezing process is a big financial undertaking for most. The cost is about $10 to $12 thousand per cycle and could be more. Then, there is the cost of egg storage, which on average is about $800 per year. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork adds this could cause a lot of pressure, knowing that storage is expensive, to make the decision to eventually stop paying and discard of the eggs.
Dr. Travis continues that he has a problem that this procedure is cost prohibitive for so many women and worries the industry may be driven by "the almighty dollar." He questions if the cost of storage really needs to be that high. He says he is not placing blame, but it's a question he must ask.
Dr. Nita agrees, saying she'd love for this technology to be available to all women and for the cost to not to be a contributing factor when deciding to freeze eggs. "We really do need to get more information. The fact that about half of these women regret freezing their eggs--and these were women who did it electively not because of cancer, or anything like that--the fact that they regret it a couple of years later tells us we need to look deeper," says Dr. Nita.