Doctors' Group to Women: Don't Freeze Your Eggs

The technology does not 'guarantee a successful pregnancy,' they warn

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 24, 2013 9:19 AM CST | Updated Dec 29, 2013 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Egg freezing has apparently become such a trend that the New York Times last year covered a trend within the trend: parents who help foot the bill for freezing their aging daughters' eggs. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued a blunt message to women in their late 20s and 30s who are planning to freeze their eggs in hopes of extending their biological clock: They aren't for it. Dr. Samantha Butts, who was on the committee behind the statement, tells Today, "We don't want to give patients the impression that this technology," which has been available in the US for a decade, "can guarantee a successful pregnancy."

And while they do think it's appropriate in some situations—when a woman is facing cancer and may lose her fertility, for instance—"we are not endorsing widespread use of egg freezing for women who want to delay motherhood." What Butts would like to see instead: more frank discussions between OB-GYNs and their patients about other options, such as getting pregnant at a younger age without a partner, or taking the "more reliable" route of freezing embryos using donor sperm. (In terms of the latter, a woman recently had a baby with an embryo that had been frozen for 18 years.)

This stock image shows fertilized eggs; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is warning against freezing unfertilized eggs.   (Shutterstock)
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