‘Sobering’ Study Shows Challenges of Egg Freezing

His wife, a bioethicist and Ms. Penzias’s stepmother, disagrees, and said she should finish her degree, then try to get pregnant without frozen eggs.

Ms. Penzias decided to freeze her eggs, planning to do so in October.

Before choosing to freeze their eggs, women also must be prepared for substantial costs. Each egg retrieval cycle can cost $10,000, Dr. Hickman said. The number of eggs collected varies from woman to woman, and, for many, the only way to get a sufficient number to make success likely is to have more than one cycle.

It costs another $5,000 to $7,000 to thaw and fertilize the eggs, grow embryos in the lab for a few days, then implant them in the woman’s uterus. Many women, including Ms. Evans, have the embryos tested for chromosomal anomalies. That costs another $3,000. And storage of frozen eggs can cost up to $1,000 a year.

Some companies’ health insurance policies cover at least part of the costs. But many do not.

Most women end up never using their frozen eggs after paying for egg retrieval and storage, often because they got pregnant on their own.

Ms. Evans, though, is a success story. She was young enough when she froze eggs to have a good chance of success and to be able to have eggs retrieved twice to accumulate 20 that could be frozen.

She married in 2019 — to the same man she had been engaged to. Last year, she had her eggs thawed and fertilized in a laboratory with her husband’s sperm. Seven months ago, she had a baby girl, Fiona.

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