Women are freezing their eggs in increasing numbers planning for their fertility future during the pandemic.
New York University’s Langone Fertility Center, for example, has seen a 32% increase in the pricey process. It costs between $8,000 to $12,000 to preserve eggs for each round of egg retrieval and there’s no guarantee that pregnancy will occur.
According to ABC News, one of the reasons women are taking family planning into their own hands is the fear and the uncertainty of the times. Dr. Meghan Smith, at UCS Fertility, says, “I think that people are realizing there’s many paths to parenthood and that’s kind of aligned now with this pandemic.”
She adds that the virus has pushed women into pursuing alternatives.
Another reason is the financial strife caused by the pandemic, with many couples unemployed, and not ready for the added burden of parenthood. Singles, too, have suffered because dating during the COVID-19 era has been challenging. It’s hard for these women to know if and when they will find a suitable partner, so stashing away their eggs is a smart move, especially if they are older.
“I think now is not the optimal time for dating,” said Smith, according to ABC News. “It’s quite difficult with social distancing and fears of COVID-19, and so I think women have just decided they’re tired.”
Egg retrieval is also a time-consuming process and experts say that many women wo are now working from home finally have the time to pursue this alternative. According to NPR, women need to inject themselves with hormones for two weeks to stimulate their body to make as many mature eggs as possible. Then, there is a surgical procedure to retrieve the eggs which could have side effects. Experts say that eggs frozen at an earlier age have a greater chance to result in pregnancy.
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