Freezing for the Future: More women rely on egg freezing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Freezing for the Future: More women rely on egg freezing

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

For some women, having children is a life-long dream, but now might not be the right time.

For women looking to pause their biological clocks, egg freezing is a growing medical trend that can help do just that.

Dr. Stephanie Singleton is a reproductive endocrinologist who specializes in fertility treatments at the Fertility Center of Charleston. She regularly sees patients in Savannah and said modern medicine gives women more options than ever when it comes to having children.

"We can now freeze our eggs when we are younger and in more of a reproductive stage to be used later in life," she said.

The reasons a woman may choose to do this vary.

"It's a great opportunity for those who are seeking advanced education, for those who have not yet found a partner," Dr. Singleton said.

This is also an option for women with medical issues who might need to have chemotherapy or cancer treatments that can be damaging to eggs.

The egg freezing process occurs when a doctor prescribes medication that increases a woman's egg production, then the eggs are harvested and frozen for later use.

Dr. Singleton said technically the eggs don't expire, but at her clinic, they will not use them after a mother reaches the age of 49.

Once the patient is ready to get pregnant, their uterine lining is prepared and the eggs are thawed and fertilized with sperm. Those eggs are then transferred into the woman's uterus.

This procedure does not guarantee pregnancy. The success rates vary depending on the woman's age, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dr. Singleton said the most important thing for a woman to do is to educate herself.

"Seek the information. It's very difficult when you get to an age where you're no longer producing eggs."

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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