Freezing your future: Prospective moms delay having kids

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 11, 2014) – Life begins the same for all of us. However, how we get here and when we get here have changed.

Every woman who has thought about having a baby has so many questions before deciding to follow through: Am I ready? What about my career? Can I afford it? Has my biological clock gone tick-tock?

The answers to those questions have led many women to consider getting their eggs frozen, giving them the option to have a child later in life.

“Are her ovaries functioning in a way that’s consistent with her age? Are they functioning better or worse? That will help us guide her into deciding whether or not egg freezing is an appropriate choice,” said Dr. David E. Carnovale, a fertility specialist at Community Health.

For elementary teacher Erin Schaar, freezing her eggs was a personal choice. After being diagnosed with cancer at 20 years old, she was told the high dose chemo could ruin her chance of having children on her own. She took the first step and decided to freeze her future when she was just 21.

“I had the opportunity to have my own. For them to have my genetics and for me to be able to carry them and that’s why I chose to freeze the eggs,” Schaar said.

When a woman decides to freeze her eggs, the process begins with a series of shots to help her produce them. During that time the doctor monitors ovary function. Doctors then use a needle to extract the eggs from the ovaries. From that point they’re frozen in a liquid nitrogen tank until the mother is ready to have them fertilized with sperm and implanted.

The process of freezing eggs has evolved over the years. Success rates are up to about 30-40 percent.

Fertility specialists at Community Health say they do expect the interest in this procedure to steadily increase, especially among career-oriented women who want to have children but may want to delay having kids for a number of reasons.

Doctors say it’s important for women to do their research and meet with fertility specialists in order to find out if the procedure is right for them. While it gives women flexibility, they say proper education is key.