Transcript for The Truth About Fertility: Freezing Your Eggs
new questions about freezing your eggs. Is the promise of prolonged fertility too good too be true? That question is examined in the latest issue of "Time" magazine and ABC's Mara schiavocampo has our story. Reporter: Egg freezing, one of the fastest growing trends in fertility. Multiple 34r50iing tenfold in the last five years for more than 500 in 2009 to just under 5,000 in 2013. The number of eggs being thawed for use quadrupling. Big companies like apple and Facebook even announcing they'll start covering the procedure. The idea that you can solve this unsolvable problem of the biological clock is very appealing to many women. Reporter: But with a price tag of $10,000 to $15,000, not including egg storage, "Time" magazine set out to answer a very simple question in an article and online video. How effective is freezing your eggs? That was really empowering to know that I took fate into my own hands. Reporter: "Time's" extensive research finding while the procedure may give women a sense of security it might not always work that well. Reporting of the 414 eggs thawed in 2013, 99 babies were born, a rate of just under 24%. And with a few eggs lost at each step of the process it's estimated each egg has just a 2% to 12% of resulting in a live birth. Is this an effective insurance policy? It just isn't an insurance policy. If you have home insurance and your house burns down, you get a new house. You don't maybe get a new house. You don't get 24% of a new house. Reporter: For "Good morning America," Mara schiavocampo, ABC news, New York. Our Dr. Jen Ashton is here right now. You'll do a demonstration that shows how big a challenge it is? This is a very safe process. It's very effective but it's not a guarantee. And let me show you what I mean. Typically when we do a stimulation cycle we'll get about 15 to 20 eggs ex-fracked from a young woman. Now, then those have to be frozen and thawed, not all will survive that process. Let's say you wind up with this much. Then they are fertilized and become embryos and grow to a certain cell division stage and be tested they're healthy enough to implant. Not all will survive this stage and then in this country, we typically don't transfer or implant more than one or two fertilized embryos into a woman's uterus. From this you hope to get one or two live births. So the chances better if you freeze the embryos rather than the eggs? The egg freezing process can a little more challenging, but it is safe. It's effective. The rates are all over the place. Some historical context here, George, remember up until 2012, this was considered an experimental process so while it's happening more and more we're still learning so much more about the technology and it's only getting better. You're an ob/gyn. When a woman says I'm thinking about this what do you tell her? I ask why. You have to listen. It depends on several factors. It depends on her age. This conversation will be different for a 25-year-old and a 35-year-old. It depends on medical issues. Has she been diagnosed with cancer. Does she have severe endometriosis or menopause or social issues have to be balanced with risks, benefits and options. For fillet, something men have to think about too. Men often ig Noor it throughout the process so I tell both partners they both need to keep certain things in mind. Number one, don't get bogged down on stats. So easy to get overwhelmed with percentages. Keep yourself healthy. That includes not smoking. That's bad for special and eggs and stay positive. This is a marathon, not a sprint. All good advice. Jen Ashton, thanks very much. Read a lot more about this topic in the current issue of "Time" magazine.
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