Recently, a friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. This is wonderful news because my friend was once told that she would never have children. She told me that becoming pregnant was a surprise for her and her husband and for years they thought about the different options available to them so that they could one day have the children they wanted. Thankfully my friend didn’t have to use any other methods of conception and she was able to eventually bear children; lots of other women are unfortunately not so lucky.
The fear of being infertile is not uncommon among women, especially women who would love nothing more than to be a mother at some point in their lives. However, since infertility is occurring at an alarming rate these days, it’s not abnormal for women to take measures to ensure that they will be able to have a child in the future should they ever become infertile later in their lives due to age. One preventive measure that is becoming more and more popular is egg banking, or cryopreserving eggs to use in the future.
The interesting thing about egg banking, however, is that many women who do bank their eggs don’t actually intend to use them in the future. A study done at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium found that women think very positively about egg banking, even though a majority of women say they don’t intend to use them.
The study was a follow-up survey of 140 women who considered egg banking between 2009 and 2011, and the questionnaire used asked the women to reflect on their relational and reproductive circumstances that led them to consider egg banking as well as their attitudes about egg banking and their reproductive plans for the future.
The results of the questionnaire showed that 34.1% of the women said that they believed they would never have to use the cryopreserved eggs, also called oocytes. 75% of the women said that they had anticipated the need for the preserved oocytes, but later considered themselves less likely to actually use the preserved eggs at some point in the future. Despite the fact that most women thought that they would never use their preserved oocytes or later believed that preserving them was unnecessary, 96.2% said that the experience was positive and that they would do it again. 70% of the women said that they wished they had preserved their eggs at an earlier age. The mean age for the study group was 37 years old. Also, almost every woman in the study said that they would definitely recommend the procedure to a friend.
Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (2013, July 9). Egg banking for social reasons: Women feel positive about it, even though many believe they will never use the eggs they have stored. ScienceDaily.