Most women freeze their eggs because they don’t have a partner
“I’m actively dating. I’m looking for a partner. Having this safety [of freezing my eggs] gives me a little more breathing room, and I don’t have to worry so much about how fast things progress.” — Yaneth
“The biggest outcome [of freezing my eggs] is that I’m no longer in a rush to find a committed partner. I feel a tremendous amount of relationship relaxation, and that definitely increases the potential that I will find a healthy relationship.” — Rhiannon
Read more egg freezing experiences and learn why women are freezing their eggs
There’s a misconception that every women who freezes her eggs does so to focus on her career. But in fact, the reason why these women chose to freeze their eggs is why the majority of women do: because they don’t have a partner.
Results of an NYU survey to determine why women freeze their eggs
When NYU conducted a patient survey to determine why women freeze their eggs, 80% of respondents said the primary reason they hadn’t started a family yet was because they didn’t have a partner. And a small UK study found that 87% of women were not in a relationship at the time they froze their eggs.
But that’s not the only reason why women freeze their eggs. The NYU survey also revealed that, at the time of treatment:
- About a fifth of women surveyed stated that workplace inflexibility contributed to their “reproductive dilemma”
- The majority felt empowered by the process
- Most believed they had improved their reproductive future
What does that tell us about why women freeze their eggs?
Some women freeze their eggs for their careers
It’s 2017 and, thankfully, women have more educational and professional options than they did in generations past. Today, 71% of women who graduate high school enroll in college. And women aren’t stopping at bachelor’s degrees, either—over 50% of graduate school enrollments are women. As of 2012, there were approximately 10 million women-owned businesses in the US, an increase of 26.8% since 2007. And while women haven’t quite reached equality in every field, we’re gaining ground:
- 34% of physicians in the United States are women, versus just 7.6% in 1970
- 14% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies—and 16% of those in positions just below CEO—are women
- Women make up 36% of people in the legal profession, and about 20% of those women are partners at their firms
This is obviously wonderful, but it does present a conundrum for those who also want to be a parent someday.
Learn more about our biology vs. sociology and why women freeze their eggs
For women who are entrepreneurs, working at a startup, climbing the corporate ladder, working to make partner, or finishing medical or law school, having a baby right now is just not an option. It makes sense, then that in that same study from NYU, 24% of women reported that they were delaying childbearing for professional reasons, and that’s why they’re freezing their eggs.
Some women are being smart about their finances
There’s two factors at work here. First of all, kids are expensive—especially here in New York City. One 2014 report estimates that it could cost middle-class parents an average of $30,000+ per year to raise a child in Manhattan. If you don’t have that kind of coin right now, it makes sense that you might be keen to wait in the baby department.
Plus, for women, there’s an extra incentive to chill. Having a baby decreases a woman’s lifetime earning potential, but that decrease can be offset a little if she waits 5 years—studies of U.S. Census results show that a 5-year delay in childbearing results in an average salary increase of $16,000.
That’s why some women freezing their eggs—15% of them to be exact—are doing it for financial reasons. And, perhaps counterintuitively, if you think you might have kids later in life, freezing your eggs could actually save you money. That’s because you have a better chance of getting pregnant with fewer cycles of fertility treatments if you use eggs frozen at 30 than you would if you used “fresh” eggs at age 40—and fewer treatments means less $$$.
Why do women freeze their eggs? Bottom line: to give themselves a better chance of getting pregnant later
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: fertility declines as women age—and even the healthiest diet and the best workout plan won’t alter that fact. (It’s about the age of the egg!) Older women have a lower egg count and a greater chance that their eggs will be genetically abnormal, also known as poor egg quality. (Learn more about fertility and age.)
Women are most fertile in their 20s and early 30s. But while that may be the easiest time to get pregnant, it’s not always the most optimal time—for a lot of reasons! That’s why women are freezing their eggs.
Frozen eggs don’t continue to age—they remain as young and healthy as they were they were frozen. Frozen eggs can be stored indefinitely. And Cryotec vitrification, the egg freezing method we use here at Extend Fertility, offers a nearly 100% egg survival rate. (Learn more about the Cryotec method used in our lab.)
And regardless of why women freeze their eggs, the result is typically positive: feelings of empowerment, reduced anxiety, and a more mindful approach to family building are all reported after egg freezing.
Ready to learn more about empowering yourself and taking control of your fertility future?