Freezing eggs is now an option for women who want to wait to have babies.

New Process Helps Older Women Get Pregnant

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 1:56 PM EDT

By WKBW News

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 1:56 PM EDT

Cleveland Clinic (WKBW) – Nowadays, many women are waiting until they are in their 40’s to have babies. Some women wait because of social or medical reasons. It is proven to be a little more challenging to get pregnant with age. This freezing process gives women a better chance.

Egg freezing was considered experimental until last fall. It requires stimulating the ovary using hormone injections to produce more eggs than it normally would. The eggs are removed or retrieved when they are mature and are frozen for later use. Experts said once the eggs are frozen, they don’t age.

"If a woman is 33, she has an IVF cycle, and freezes her eggs, when they are thawed and fertilized, they will perform as well when she's 45 as they did when she was 33 and made the eggs. So essentially she's functioning as her own egg donor," Cleveland Clinic Dr. Cynthia Austin said.

Austin said it is important to keep in mind that not all frozen eggs can fertilize when thawed, but egg freezing does give women another chance if they hope to have children in the future.

"If we freeze 8 eggs, we would expect to get three or four eggs from that. Again, not all embryos can become babies. So, it's not a guarantee to be able to get pregnant in the future but it's a hope that there's a chance that's better than a woman would have as she gets older,” Austin said.

Egg freezing is also an important for women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Both medical treatments could harm fertility. This freezing procedure gives them an opportunity they may not have had.

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