Answer from: Saghar Kasiri, Clinical Embryologist
The process of egg freezing is the same for both social and medical like freezing. The process in the lab is identical, the reasons for freezing that eggs would be different, so cryo preservation for social would be probably due to wanting to have a career, studying, not having found the right partner or financial reason to be able to have a child at that particular time and therefore you can delay parenthood by preserving the eggs to use later on in life. Medical reasons that could lead to to freezing the eggs and banking it for future can be due to cancer, can be to unfortunately early menopause. Some women we know lose their ovarian reserve very early on, so premature ovarian reserve could be for other reasons that are infertility related, for example, severe PCOS. Some women that have this condition as they get older their eggs age much quicker than other women of the same age so if they are aware of this, in their early twenties, they may wish to freeze their eggs and use it for later.
Medical reason sometimes may have to be done in a rush and we may not have the luxury of being able to stimulate a few cycles in order to bank as many eggs as we can but with social like freezing it is possible to have two, three cycles of egg freezing to bank as many eggs as possible for the future.
Answer from: Melvin H. Thornton, Associate Professor
The difference between egg freezing and social freezing basically is no difference. There are many reasons why women want to preserve their fertility and freeze their eggs. Some of them can be because of a genetic disorder that they have such fragile eggs, mutations which can lead to early menopause. Some women may be faced with a diagnosis of endometriosis, which means they may have to have a surgical procedure done on their ovaries. Both these examples are good cases where you should freeze your eggs ahead of time. Those are medical indications such as women who are also diagnosed with cancer who will be undergoing chemo or radiation therapy. Those are some of the medical indications for egg freezing. Social freezing is basically a woman’s choice. If you decide that you’re worried about your fertility, and you want to freeze your eggs; the most important thing is to see a fertility specialist, you can undergo some testing to see what your ovarian reserve is like. Based upon those test results make a decision to freeze your eggs now or freeze your eggs later. But the answer to social freezing is whenever you decide that you’re worried about your future fertility; you should see a specialist and freeze your eggs.
Answer from: Eugenia Rocafort, BSc, MSc
We differentiate the egg freezing as a medium. There is a medical reason such as cancer for instance so we are calling medical preservation. There is the social preservation that it’s more of a personal choice of freezing acts because now you’re not ready to be a mom so you rather freeze your eggs to postpone maternity.
Answer from: Ioannis Zervomanolakis, PhD
The only difference has to do with the indication for egg freezing since egg freezing itself has been initiated for women with cancer. While social freezing is an alternative used for egg freezing in women that postpone their family planning in order to be mothers later.
Answer from: Jessica Subira, M.D. Consultant in Gynecology, Sub-specialist in Reproductive Medicine
Answer from: Maria José Mendiola, MD, MSc in Human Genetics, MSc in Science Communication, ObGyn
Egg freezing has been used for fertility preservation for young women with cancer who are at risk for of sterility as a result of cancer or its treatment. Social freezing on the other hand is typically offered to women under 38 years of age who want to preserve the option of having healthy genetically related children at a later date. Social freezing means storing of a healthy fertile woman in order to have a pregnancy later in her life for example if I want a pregnancy at 50 years old, 45 years old. It should ideally be performed on women around 30-35 years of age in order to increase their chances of a future pregnancy but it is mostly have to say perform after the age of 35.
Is social egg freezing the same as egg freezing?
Are you thinking of freezing your eggs to preserve your fertility? Learn more about social egg freezing.