Fertility preservation for social reasons
Various socio-cultural changes in recent decades have led women to postpone motherhood and significantly extend the age at which they seek their first pregnancy in nearly all countries around the world. However, the biological clock (reproductive age) keeps ticking and doesn’t stop. That’s why fertility preservation is the technique that allows women to decide when to plan a pregnancy.
A woman is born with a limited quantity of eggs, which do not renew throughout her lifetime. Furthermore, the best eggs are “used up” before the age of 30. Egg quality deteriorates after the age of 32, which reduces the chances of a healthy pregnancy. To plan a pregnancy, it is essential to seek personalized guidance to make the right decision with accurate and appropriate information. Information empowers and provides the necessary peace of mind to decide. Complex reproductive treatments cannot reverse the passage of time. Since the physiological loss of both the quantity and quality of eggs is inevitable, preservation – a scientifically proven technique – offers the opportunity to improve future reproductive possibilities. Although it can be done at any age, scientific studies show better results when egg freezing is performed before the age of 35. Even with the use of one’s own eggs, high-complexity techniques like IVF cannot reverse the decline in fertility with age. Paradoxically, in many cases, advanced reproductive age is not only the reason for the technique’s recommendation but also the primary cause of low IVF success rates.
Beyond the recommendation to attempt pregnancy at earlier ages, today, we have a tool to address the issue of declining fertility with age: egg freezing. Through a new laboratory technique called “vitrification,” it is now possible to cryopreserve eggs to “halt” the biological clock, providing greater chances of pregnancy at the time a woman deems appropriate. Although this technique can be performed at any age, various publications recommend doing it before the age of 35, as the quantity and quality of eggs to be cryopreserved significantly diminish after that age.