Egg freezing party: more women waiting to have a baby

By now you've probably heard of egg freezing; a medical technology that allows a woman to extract and then store her eggs for future use.

Egg Freezing has drawn a lot of attention since companies like Facebook and Apple started paying for the procedure as an employee perk. And with many valley women putting career before baby, one fertility center hosted an "Egg Freezing Party" to educate women about fertility, aging, and delaying the biological clock.

It's ladies night in the Biltmore, with chardonnay and shaken martinis.  But these women aren't here for Happy Hour, they're here to learn about egg freezing.

"By the time you hit 40 you're down to about 10,000 eggs, and at menopause you're down to 1,000 eggs," said Dr. Jesse Hade, with Boston IVF.

Welcome to "Fertility Al Fresco" an event for women to learn about their biological clock and how to delay it. At the helm, Dr. Jesse Hade, a reproductive endocrinologist with Boston IVF's Arizona Center.

"What we're trying to do is just get the knowledge out there that when you're young and in the prime of your life, those are the best times and the best eggs to freeze and use for the future," he said.

Dr. Hade said most women who come to him for egg freezing are single, busy professionals, that are putting a baby on hold for love or career.

"Millennials now are just delaying child-bearing far longer than any other generation," said Dr. Hade.

And with fertility on the back burner, Dr. Hade, and his team want these women to know the facts.

This is the fifth egg freezing party that Boston IVF has hosted. Dr. Hade says that on the east coast women are often waiting until their late 30's or early 40's to come in and see him. But right here in Arizona women are getting an earlier start confronting their fertility.

"They tell you after 40 that you're pretty much done, but it's as he told us right now, it's actually an open window to people over 40," said Frances Ortiz.

Frances Ortiz is just 25-years-old but already considering freezing her eggs. Other guests, like Chelsea Sayles, are well into their 30's, wondering if kids are still in the cards.

"Is there an age where you start looking and going, I'm not sure if this is going to be an option for you?" asked Chelsea Sayles.

According to Dr. Hade, freezing eggs before age 34 is ideal, but after that the chance for birth abnormalities skyrockets.

"You go from having a 75% chance it's normal, to when your 40 it is a 75% chance it's abnormal," said Hade.

Numbers like these are all the more incentive for women like Miriam Zerio. The 33-year-old just finished her Ph.D. and isn't quite ready to conceive.

"Kind of just weigh the odds, and think maybe I should just freeze them while they're younger, while they're better, so that if I don't get pregnant and if I have problems, there is my backup plan," said Miriam Zerio.

A backup plan, and peace of mind, something all of these women can toast to.

Dr. Hade made sure to clarify that women over 34 still can freeze their eggs, but they'll just have to freeze a greater number of them. That may involve more rounds of IVF and more medication, which means a higher costs.

Unlike 15 other states, Arizona doesn't require insurance companies to cover infertility expenses.
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