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Pandemic family planning: Women use this year to freeze eggs and embryos

Posted at 7:15 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 07:16:00-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With so much down time this past year, many women found themselves thinking about the future more than ever. For some of them - that future includes a family. Whether they're married, in a relationship or single, many woman are taking action now to give themselves the best chances in the future.

Dr. Robert Kiltz with CNY Fertility says his practice has been busier than ever this past year.

"The quarantine, the downtime, the isolation, gives us time to rethink our priorities in life," he explained.

He's been working with couples and single women who are interested in freezing eggs or embryos for the future.

"It's a little bit of an insurance policy," he explained. "Freeze your youngest age you are now, and increase your odds for pregnancy later on when you're ready."

Julie and Ashley Andrews are a same-sex couple from Texas who have been going through the embryo freezing process this year. They're now working with the CNY Fertility in Colorado, but their journey toward motherhood started at the start of the pandemic - in March of 2020. They say the extra down time they had, kept their future family at the front of their minds.

"For us when COVID hit - it was like we spent days on days on days just sitting in our apartment researching!" laughed Ashley.

While Julie and Ashely are interested in starting a family soon, Dr. Kiltz says he's been working with a lot of single women who are preparing now for a family they might not have for years.

"We're seeing the woman in her mid to late 30s, who is already on career track," he said. "Hasn't found Mr. Right or Mr. Right now. and has made the decision that I'm going to do this. Or in some cases we're seeing women who say ok, I'm done with waiting. I'm just going to freeze my embryos. Or I'm going to have my baby."

The procedure to freeze eggs or embryos comes with a cost. Dr. Kiltz says on average it costs between $8,000 - $20,000 for a single egg harvest and freezing. Many couples and women say they're willing to pay for the peace of mind it offers.

"We're healthy now. We have no fertility issues," Ashley said. "We know we want a larger family, and we also know we don't want them spaced super closely."

Dr. Kiltz says with so many people talking about starting families these days, he expects the conversations about different ways that can happen to continue to expand.

Julie and Ashley say they learned so much along their journey to parenthood that they wanted to share with other women.

"I just think that if women want a family, the earlier you can start looking into your reproductive health, the better," said Ashley.

"If I would have known about egg freezing, and the younger you are the better quality they are - but I didn't know anything about this," echoed Julie. "If I would have known it would have been a game changer. Women have options and they don't know it."