FOX43 FOCAL POINT: INFERTILITY -- A soon-to-be mom is having her first child in her 40’s and credits the pregnancy to her frozen eggs.
FOX43's Lynda Weed explains the process of egg freezing in our FOX43 Focal Point: Infertility.
Brianna Schumacher is a Physician at Shady Grove Fertility in Chesterbrook, Chester County. She meets with couples and single women who want to preserve their eggs.
"I will ask how many kids they want. They say we will be happy with one." However, Schumacher says she wants to give couples a chance to have their ideal family.
Her patients range from IVF patients who have extra embryo’s they want to save for the future and women who want to save their eggs now.
"A lot of women that come to me will be single women or women who are in a relationship or have endometriosis." said Schumacher. "They know they want children someday, but it might not be the time."
Doctor Christina Vittoria is in her 40's and is ready to have her first child.
Just a few years ago she was in a different place. "I didn’t plan on having my life and my family expectations go the way they did. I decided one day, that this (egg freezing) was something that I needed to do to save my fertility."
Christina’s life was turned upside down. She was facing a divorce and at the age of 41, she was single with no children.
She started seeing a fertility specialist. "They said to me 'is your ex-husband the only way to get what you want in life? Is that the only path that you can ever see in life?' and I said No."
Christina decided to take control and freeze her eggs. This gave her a future that could include a biological child.
It didn’t take long for Christina to find a new love. Her husband Matt and step-daughter are now on a new journey with her.
Christina is pregnant with a baby girl. She credits the pregnancy to her frozen eggs. "Without having the eggs frozen, I don’t think that I would be able to have the one that is cooking in the oven."
Her fertility specialist fertilized 11 of her 22 frozen eggs. Only four of them were strong enough to become embryos. Only one was healthy enough to be inseminated.
One must be Christina and Matt’s lucky number. The procedure worked.
"Knowing that I have my step-daughter and that she is going to have her sister and a true family, is just amazing."
Freezing her eggs in her 40’s, Christina was lucky to have 22 eggs retrieved. However, that took four sessions.
Women of that age should be prepared for less. Doctor Schumacher recommends making the decision to freeze your eggs as early as possible.
"When women are younger, less than 35, we expect most of their eggs to be normal and have the correct number of chromosomes.”
Women under going a major medical procedure sometimes choose to freeze their eggs before the treatment.
Doctor Kara Nguyen is a physician with Shady Grove Fertility in Mechanicsburg and says some medical treatments can take away the option of conceiving a child naturally.
"We see a lot of patients who are diagnosed with early onset cancer, such as breast cancer, who choose to freeze their eggs and then it allows them to build their family after the cancer treatment is over."
If you have a successful IVF cycle and do decide to freeze your extra embryos, you will need to pay a monthly or yearly fee of anywhere between $300 and $1,000 yearly. The price depends on your storage facility.
If you want to freeze your eggs, professionals recommend doing that by the time you are in your mid-30’s.