Updated: 09/29/2015 10:44 PM
Created: 09/29/2015 10:22 PM KSTP.com
By: Jessica Miles
For years, women have been making the decision to freeze their eggs for a later pregnancy.
However, there’s a new approach aimed at a new group of women to help them learn more about how to make that decision.
It’s a far cry from sitting in the doctor’s office.
On Tuesday night in downtown Minneapolis, more than 20 young women are painting, enjoying a glass of wine, and learning about freezing their eggs.
“Unfortunately, time is not on women’s sides these days,” student Allie Ellingson said.
Emily O’Neil and Allie Ellingson are both OB/GYN residents, students with at least two more years of studies. They’ll be 30 before they’re out in the working world.
“Everyone likes to have options; that’s why I am here to learn more about my options,” O’Neil said.
“I’m more focused on my career; I’m not ready to settle down and have kids just yet,” Ellingson added.
Experts say many young professionals feel this way. They’re more career oriented; many are waiting to start families.
“Women are pursing degrees, they are leaders in their fields, and with that come lots of obligations for a career, time obligations,” fertility expert Dr. April Batcheller said. “It’s difficult to focus on building a family.”
Experts say a woman’s fertility starts to decline by age 30; it drops substantially by age 40.
Doctor Batcheller said frozen eggs can be kept for years; 90 percent survive, and her studies show after thawing, the live birth rate ranges between 60 and 70 percent.
While there are some risks, Batcheller said the actual egg extraction is quite simple.
“It requires under skin injections for 10 days; you are closely monitored and during the retrieval process you are asleep, very comfortable,” Batcheller said.
For many young women, egg freezing allows for peace of mind to pursue other dreams without giving up that dream of having children, someday.
“I will celebrate birthdays and deliveries of others, but not my own for quite some time,” O’Neil laughed.
Right now egg freezing, and all the costs associated with it, can total between $7,000 and $10,000.
However, there are companies—like Facebook and Apple—that have acknowledged women’s desires to pursue careers versus have children, and those companies are covering the costs to freeze eggs.