Egg freezing no longer experimental, reproductive specialists’ group says

Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California.</p>

Embryologist Ric Ross holds a dish with human embryos at the La Jolla IVF Clinic in La Jolla, February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California.

Egg freezing does enable women to have healthy babies and should no longer be considered an experimental technique to preserve fertility, according to new guidelines the American Society for Reproductive Medicine plans to issue on Monday, the Boston Globe reported.

Women who want to have children using their own eggs past typical childbearing years or after chemotherapy or radiation treatments sometimes turn to egg freezing and storage, a method which can cost $12,000, the Boston Globe reported.

The reproductive specialists’ group said that it reviewed 100 studies and found no evidence that egg freezing caused any problems that would reduce the chance of pregnancy or create birth defects, the Boston Globe reported.

According to the Associated Press:

The move is expected to help cancer patients preserve their fertility, by pushing more insurers to pay for their procedure, and to boost banking of donated eggs, similar to sperm banking.

The group did not endorse egg freezing for the purpose of putting off pregnancy until a woman is older since it was not clear if older women are as likely to become pregnant from their previously frozen eggs as younger women, the AP reported.

"The bottom line is there is no guarantee," Dr. Samantha Pfeifer of the University of Pennsylvania, who chaired the society's guideline committee, told the AP. "A lot of women interested in using this technology are in their late 30s, early 40s, and they may have the worst success of anybody."

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