Many of us have heard of oocyte cryopreservation (egg cell freezing) because of how popular it's become among famous personalities in recent years. Sofia Vergara from the hit TV show Modern Family, pop singer Rita Ora and Celine Dion have all undergone the procedure, certainly not because it was trendy, but because it assures that no matter what may happen to them in the meantime, they'll still have the opportunity to reproduce using their own eggs and have their own biological children sometime in the future.
Human oocyte cryopreservation is a process where a woman's eggs are extracted and preserved for potential future use. The treatment originated in the 1960s as an experiment concerning the eggs of various non-human mammals. It has since evolved to incorporate human eggs and grown in popularity as word of the procedure continues to spread.
Egg freezing didn't really start to become well-known until 2014, when some of the world's top tech companies, Apple, Facebook, and Google, began announcing they would be offering egg freezing for their female employees as part of their benefits package.
The success of oocyte cryopreservation is highly dependent on age, as the number and quality of eggs extracted are greatly influenced by the age of the woman involved. There is a fertility timeline with different rates of successful live births among females of the following age brackets:
Age 30 and under: At least 12 eggs are required to have a 65% to 85% chance of a successful pregnancy.
Age 31 - 35: : 12 to 24 eggs are required to have the same 65% to 85% chance of a successful conception.
Age 35 and older: 24 eggs or more are required to have the same 65% to 85% chance of a successful conception.
The bottom line is that the younger you are, the better the quality of your eggs and the higher the chance of success. In some ways it's also less expensive because of the lower number of eggs you need to produce.
Your doctor will first determine the quality and quantity of your eggs through Ovarian Reserve Testing. There will be a screening for any infectious diseases you might be carrying. Your doctor will monitor your progress during the preparation stages by conducting multiple blood testings and ultrasound procedures. You will be injected with hormones to stimulate your ovaries to produce more eggs, prevent premature ovulation and help the eggs mature.
Once the eggs are ready, there is a retrieval process where you will be sedated while your doctor retrieves your eggs from its follicles. Immediately following the retrieval of your eggs, they will be stored in a freezer at subzero temperatures along with certain cryoprotectant substances that help to preserve eggs over an extended period. At this point, you'll need to rest for an entire week before resuming your regular activities.
Advantages of Egg Freezing:
You can postpone becoming a mother until you feel you're ready.
You will have more freedom to focus on your career and other important life choices because of the significantly reduced pressure you'll face with respect to having children while you're still young. With oocyte cryopreservation you're eggs remain young and healthy even after several years in the freezer.
If you need to undergo certain medical procedures, such as chemotherapy, which can negatively affect fertility and the ability to reproduce naturally, freezing your eggs in advance of the treatment will enable you to have children regardless of the outcome.
You can donate your eggs should you never choose to use them, or simply have them discarded.
Egg freezing can function as a “pregnancy insurance" of sorts if other females in your bloodline have tended to enter into menopause prematurely.
Not 100% successful in every situation. In fact, the odds of a successful pregnancy resulting after egg freezing still remain relatively low, all things considered.
While rare, egg freezing can potentially present a few fairly serious health risks.
Time-consuming. Numerous visits to the doctor are required throughout the entire preparation period.
It's expensive. At best, the procedure will cost several thousands of dollars, and at worst, if multiple attempts are required, as they often are, the costs can easily climb upwards of $30,000.
Frozen eggs have a lower success rate than embryo freezing or eggs that are fresh from the womb.
Personally, I am over the top excited that we are on the cusp of turning the page on not only a new year but also on a new 10-year window of opportunities and possibilities!
You may be thinking, whoa…I am just embracing the fall season…yikes… it is tough to think about a new decade!
Yet it is this groundwork, this forward thought that you put in place TODAY that will propel you and lead you into greatness in 2020 and beyond. Designing a new decade rests in your ability to vision, in your willingness to be curious, in your awareness of where you are now and what you most want to curate. Essentially, curating what's next is about tapping into today with confidence, conviction, and decision. Leading YOU starts now. This is your new next. It is your choice.
Sometimes to get to that 'next', you need to take a step back to reflect. Please pardon my asking you to spend time in yesterday. Those who know me personally, know that I created and continue to grow my business based on enabling the present moment as a springboard for living your legacy. So, indulge me here! True, I am asking you to peek into the past, yet it is only in order for you to bring the essence of that past forward into this moment called NOW.
One of the best ways to tap into what's next is to clarify what drives you. To design a new decade, ask yourself this question about the past ten years:
What worked? What were my successes?
Make a list of your achievements big and small. Don't type them, but rather use ink and paper and sit with and savor them. Move your thoughts and your successes from your head, to your heart, to your pen, to the paper. Remember that on the flip side of goals not attained and New Year's resolutions abandoned, there was more than likely some traction and action that moved you forward, even if the end result was not what you expected. Once you have a full list of a decade's worth of personal and professional accomplishments, think about how this makes you feel. Do you remember celebrating all of them? My guess is no. So, celebrate them now. Give them new life by validating them. Circle the successes that resonate with you most right now. Where can you lean into those accomplishments as you power into the decade ahead?
Now comes a tougher question, one that I used myself in my own mid-life reinvention and a question I adore because in a moment's time it provides you with a quick reconnect to your unique inner voice.
If it were 10 years ago and nothing were standing in your way, no fear or excuses to contend with…what would you do?
Don't overthink it. The brilliance of this question is that it refocuses purpose. Whatever first came to mind when you answered this for yourself is at its core a powerful insight into defining and redefining the FUTURE decade. Bring your answer into the light of today and what small piece of it is actionable NOW? Where is this resonating and aligning with a 2019 version of yourself?
Then, based on your success list and your answer to the above question, what is your 2020 vision for your business and for the business of YOU?
Designing a new decade begins as a collection of 3,650 opportunities. 3,650 blank slates of new days ahead in which to pivot and propel yourself forward. Every single one of those days is a window into your legacy. An invitation to be, create, explore, and chip away at this thing we call life. One 24-hour segment at a time.
While you have a decade ahead to work on design improvements, you have the ability to begin manifesting this project of YOU Version 2020 right NOW. Based on exploring the exercises in this post, begin executing your vision. Ask questions. Be present. Let go of 2019 and the past 10 years so that you can embrace the next 10. Position acceptance and self-trust at the forefront of how you lead you. One choice at a time.
Don't get bogged down in the concept of the next 10 years. Instead position clarity and intention into each new day, starting today. Then chase every one of those intentions with an in-the-moment commitment and solution toward living a legendary life!