NBC4’s two-part special report ran from January 22-23, 2015. This holistic overview of egg freezing covered the scientific advancements that have led to increased success rates; interviews with Michele Purcell, RN, the Shady Grove Fertility Egg Freezing Program Director; and interviews with Arthur W. Sagoskin, M.D. of Shady Grove Fertility’s Rockville, MD office and Radell Peischler, a patient who blogs about her egg freezing experience.
Increased Success Rates
The science of egg freezing–known as cryopreservation–has been in use for over 30 years, but the success rates were often low due to laboratory technologies. As mentioned by NBC4’s Doreen Gentzler, though, the introduction of vitrification, or flash-freeze, technology in 2009 helped to mainstream egg freezing by increasing the medical viability of the process.
“While fertility centers have been trying to freeze eggs for a number of years, older technology was not reliable. In 2009, Shady Grove Fertility began using vitrification, the process of preserving eggs through a flash-freeze method. This technology has been found to yield a 55 percent pregnancy rate for women under 38 at the time of freezing,” said Dr. Sagoskin.
Age is The Most Important Indicator of Success
Michele Purcell, RN explained that success rates will only continue to grow as women become more educated about egg freezing. “Success rates are based on the age of the woman at the time she freezes her eggs. Currently, the average age for egg freezing patients is 37.5. Since a woman’s egg quality decreases with age, the success rates are not always as high in older patients. With increased education, women can freeze their eggs younger, yielding higher pregnancy rates,” said Michele.
Former Patient Advocates for Awareness
Increased education and awareness about egg freezing is the goal for Radell Peischler, a Shady Grove Fertility patient who recently froze her eggs. Radell is a 34 year old entrepreneur living in the D.C. area. She just so happens to be single, and after a few years of contemplation, she decided to freeze her eggs. For Radell, “It [egg freezing] gives me a little bit more peace. It’s not the perfect solution for everyone, but for me, I feel excited that I did it and I took that risk for myself,” said Peischler. Radell has taken to blogging about her experience to advocate for women to empower themselves and to help other women find their own answers.
In addition to spreading awareness via interviews with NBC4, Peischler blogged her way through the egg freezing process and some may already know that she is a guest blogger for Shady Grove Fertility. Most recently, Radell published the blog, ‘The First Step to Egg Freezing.’
More Information About Egg Freezing at Shady Grove Fertility
The Egg Freezing Program at Shady Grove Fertility has seen interest double each year beginning in 2010, largely due to greater cultural awareness, increasing success rates, and having the only financial program in the country specifically for egg freezing patients. For women who are interested in receiving more information about egg freezing, monthly seminars and webcasts are hosted throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.