Women still rarely use frozen eggs; experts say percentage could grow
Women who freeze their eggs and store them in hospitals or private clinics end up using them in only 10 percent of cases, according to Nu.nl. However, since the technology for freezing eggs is relatively new, experts believe that the next few years will see more women using their frozen eggs.
Women freeze their eggs for various reasons, such as when they are undergoing a surgery or chemotherapy, or because they do not want to start a family yet. Nu.nl surveyed UMC Groningen, which only freezes eggs for medical reasons, and TFP Medisch Centrum Kinderwens, which freezes eggs for other reasons. Both said around 10 percent of women return to "warm up" their eggs.
"The proportion of women who are allowing their eggs to warm up is increasing," said reproductive doctor Nicole Beckers of the TFP Medisch Centrum. Women have only been allowed to freeze their eggs for non-medical reasons since 2011, in a process that comes with an around 3,000 euro price tag.
A woman can use her frozen eggs until she is 50, and many women utilizing the technology have not yet reached that age. Women who freeze their eggs at Amsterdam UMC, for example, are 36.8 years old on average, said gynecologist in training Eva Balkenende, who researches clinical fertility preservation of women.
For many women, having their eggs frozen is a form of "insurance," Balkenende said. Many women who freeze their eggs end up getting pregnant naturally, and others decide they do not want to have children after all. "Perhaps the desired partner never came. There are also many women who, for example, first have to go through their chemotherapy," Balkenende said.