March 18, 2010
Egg Banking Services For Aging Women

Hey ladies, consider "elective oocyte cryopreservation" before you get too old to store your eggs for a future pregnancy.

Genetics & IVF Institute (GIVF) is launching a Personal Egg Banking service in the Washington, DC area to help women 40 and under who want to cryopreserve (freeze) their eggs now for use in the future when they wish to become pregnant. The age of a woman's eggs dramatically affects her ability to conceive. At 30, a healthy woman has about a 20% chance per month of conceiving, but the likelihood of pregnancy plummets as a woman grows older. At 40, her chances drop to about 5%.

Egg banking is one of those services where the buyers will tend to wait too long before admitting they need the service. A woman in her late teens is probably the ideal candidate to bank some eggs due to her still having very youthful eggs. But most women that age who eventually want children do not want to think about the possibility that they won't have all their dreams come true in a timely manner.

Women spend so much time pursuing their careers that many are infertile by the time they get around to trying to start a family.

"Many patients with age-related infertility are very distressed because they did not fully understand how difficult it would be to conceive at an older age," says Dr. Lawrence Udoff, a reproductive endocrinologist at GIVF. "Some of these women weren't ready to have a child when they were younger because they had not found a partner or they were immersed in their careers. Now that they are ready, they are facing age-related infertility."

I would be very curious to know the average age of a woman who uses an egg banking service.

Perhaps medical tests will alert women about declining fertility a few years before the infertility risk becomes high. Then women would know to go and get some eggs banked.

New technology has arrived in Australian IVF clinics that will, for the first time, enable any woman to establish quickly and easily - and for only $65 - whether she has a decent chance of natural conception.

The test - tagged the "egg-timer" - measures the hormonal concentration in her lower plumbing regions.

It will reveal whether any of the one million eggs that she was born with are still quietly hibernating in there and how many of them are already hard-boiled.

If such testing becomes cheap and easy to do women could get periodic tests of the trend in their fertility level.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 March 18 06:05 PM  Biotech Reproduction

Mthson said at March 19, 2010 3:19 AM:

It seems to be a general problem that our biology exits youth before our personalities do. People at age 30, particularly women, sometimes seem surprised to conclude they've already passed their physical attractiveness peak, and they can look forward to accumulating minor but persistent cosmetic and medical complaints from there on.

The culture seems irrationally lackadaisical in our support for biotech advancement in general and Aubrey De Grey's SENS in particular. It seems like women in particular should be fans of biotech advancement.

random said at March 19, 2010 10:46 AM:

Universities should add this as a option with enrollment - especially for women entering Legal or Medical programs. Most women going in these programs are virtually guaranteed to be past their fertile prime by the time their lives are stable enough to allow pregnancy/children.

Brett Bellmore said at March 19, 2010 2:46 PM:

It would make a lot of sense, (Probably too much sense to be legal!) to have a business *buying* young womens' eggs, freezing them, and later selling them back at enough of a premium to pay for the storage and make a profit.

anonyq said at March 19, 2010 3:40 PM:

Sperm banking isn't exactly hot and sperm has the same problem with aging as eggs and it is at least easy and not laden with health issues like egg harvesting

Brett Bellmore said at March 20, 2010 4:15 AM:

The issues with sperm aren't nearly so extreme: I naturally conceived a son at 49 years of age, not many women could do that. Male fertility and sperm quality drops with age, but not nearly as abruptly. Well, until you get that prostate surgery...

gordo said at March 20, 2010 6:08 PM:

Women cannot seem to keep it together for some reason. Perhaps it's the menopause, the feminist culture, or the PMS. But it's tough to find one single woman who can keep up through the years. Small wonder they lose their fertility, with the whining "gimme, gimme" attitude they've got.

runner said at March 20, 2010 10:01 PM:

You have to wonder if by 2025 , all a woman would need is her genetic information from her skin and voila, new baby.... So women who can't conceive today at 41 could when they are 56, and feel younger than 41. Brave New World.

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