While every woman is unique and fertility varies from one individual to the next, there are some general guidelines rooted in research and medical data to keep in mind when considering egg freezing over the age of 30.
Females are born with all the eggs they will ever have in their lifetime. This amount decreases until a woman stops ovulating and reaches menopause. This decline becomes more rapid around the age of 35. After age 45, electing an egg donor can be the safest option, as there are greater risks involved.1
Due to the decline in egg supply and fertility, some women elect to freeze their eggs in the hopes of experiencing a live birth later in life.
But how old is too old to freeze your eggs? If I’m over age 40, is it too late for me?
There is no clear answer that can be applied across the board. Each woman is unique, as is her fertility.
When it comes to pregnancy success rates with egg freezing, the sooner this is done, the better. This is because the younger the eggs, the greater the likelihood of extracting eggs that are of high quality. The healthier the eggs, the greater chances are of a healthy live birth. The success rates drop the older the eggs are when frozen. On average, a woman loses over 90% of her eggs by the time she is around age 37.1 The quality of the eggs also declines with time. For this reason, choosing to freeze by age 35 allows for more healthy eggs to be extracted.
If you’re age 40 or older…
In terms of freezing your eggs at or after 40, there’s no single answer for every woman. It truly depends on several factors such as your ovarian reserve and family planning goals. Women in their 40’s generally have less than 25% of their normal number of eggs.2 Because of this, ovarian stimulation to freeze as many eggs as possible may optimize your chances of future fertility if you freeze your eggs now. While egg freezing is not a guarantee, it is your best insurance policy. To better answer this question for you personally, it’s best to talk to your fertility doctor to understand your personal success rates.
How many eggs need to be extracted for egg freezing?
This also varies by age. The older a woman is, the more eggs she will need for a successful pregnancy.3 This is because the older her age, the greater the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities in her eggs, which are responsible for miscarriages, genetic disorders and birth defects. As such, women over age 35 can benefit from IVF treatment when trying to conceive, or may decide on egg freezing if they are not yet ready.
There is no actual age limit or cutoff for freezing your eggs, although the potential of those eggs turning into a live birth reduces in the 40s. According to research, women who are under age 36 when freezing their eggs have a 95% survival rate for their eggs once they are thawed. This begins to decline to 85% by the age of 36.4
If you are 40 or older and haven’t frozen your eggs, it’s certainly not too late to become a mother. You may still have a healthy pregnancy, and your chances will increase with the help of Southern California Reproductive Center. We’re a top-rated fertility clinic with pregnancy success rates 1.4 times the national average for women ages 38-40.
Are you ready to start planning your future family? We’d love to meet with you to address your unique needs.
Fill out our contact form or give us a call to request a consultation today.
1 Pregnancy Outcome at Extremely Advanced Maternal Age
2 Human Ovarian Reserve from Conception to the Menopause
3 How many eggs does a woman have?
4 Likelihood of achieving a 50%, 60%, or 70% estimated live birth rate threshold with 1 or 2 cycles of planned oocyte cryopreservation
5 Predicting the likelihood of live birth for elective oocyte cryopreservation: a counseling tool for physicians and patients