How to take Jennifer Aniston’s egg freezing advice

In a recent interview with Allure magazine, one of the world’s most loved actresses – Jennifer Aniston – shared publicly for the first time her long struggle with infertility. During the interview she provided excellent fertility advice for other women to prevent similar fertility challenges in future, saying: “I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, “freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.”

In this article, we share extracts of her interview and highlight the fertility advice she shared, explain why you need to consider egg freezing, especially if you are 35 or older, and how to follow this advice in the best possible way.

Recently, in a heartfelt interview with Allure magazine, US star Jennifer Aniston shared the challenges she endured living with infertility and added some pertinent advice from personal experience: saying: “I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”

In sharing her story and expressing such a heartfelt wish that she had known about egg freezing, Arniston has raised crucial awareness of this important issue among women worldwide, hopefully ensuring that a few more women will be able to preserve their fertility before “the ship has sailed”.

The reality is that women’s fertility declines with age. And because many women today are having children later in life, the result is millions of women who are struggling to fall pregnant.

In today’s modern world, many women are delaying starting their families until later in life. This may be because they are building a career, or because of financial pressure, or even because society can view it negatively when a woman gives up a job or career to have a baby.

Whatever the reason may be, at Cape Fertility, we believe that it is a woman’s right to be allowed to decide when to start a family.

However, when making this decision, women should also be fully aware of the impact of their age on their fertility, their pregnancy, labour and birth, as well as the treatment options that are available if time is of the essence.

Age and fertility

With increasing age, a woman’s fertility decreases. The prime fertility window for most women extends to around age 35.

This is due to the fact that from the age of 35 onwards, women not only produce fewer eggs than they did at a younger age, but these few eggs that they produce are also of lower quality.

Of course, some women still have no issues getting pregnant well into their 40s, and most healthy women who get pregnant after age 35, and even into their 40s, have healthy babies.

But, statistically speaking, a woman is less likely to get pregnant and more likely to need fertility treatments the older she is when trying to conceive. Certainly, women generally have less chance of getting pregnant after the age of 35. But the chances of falling pregnant naturally after the age of 40 is less than 15%. And most women over the age of 45 are unable get pregnant naturally. This is mainly due to the low quality of the eggs produced after the age of 45.

In addition to the risk of advanced age to a women’s ability to fall pregnant, a pregnancy after the age of 40 also holds risks for both mother and child. For the mom, these include for example preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, an increased risk of miscarriage during pregnancy and preterm labour. Labour and birth also tend to be more complicated after age 40.

Risks for the baby include an increased chance of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome, and risks associated with prematurity, the most significant being neurological abnormalities.

How to preserve your fertility for future

Thanks to advances in medical science, women can now choose to preserve and protect their fertility through options such as egg freezing.

Egg freezing is a safe and painless procedure and has been used in mainstream medical industry for more than a decade. It is widely used – and often the only hope for women who are at risk of losing their fertility as a result of cancer therapy and treatment.

It has been more than 20 years since the first birth resulting from a frozen egg was reported in 1986. In the beginning, egg freezing had a poor success rate, but two breakthroughs have since allowed scientists to overcome these egg freezing problems.

The first breakthrough is the development of a new culture media system that protects the egg from damage during the egg freezing/thawing process. This culture system dehydrates eggs during egg freezing and rehydrates the egg during thawing, thereby minimizing the formation of ice crystals during the egg freezing process.

Another breakthrough is vitrification or ultra rapid freezing, which makes it is possible to avoid ice formation that would otherwise damage the eggs. In this way it is now possible to eliminate both important impediments to safe egg freezing and achieve good survival of frozen eggs.

Current evidence shows that children born from frozen eggs have no increase in chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects or developmental deficits, and can achieve success rates comparable to standard IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation).

Egg freezing has become “mainstream” since 2008 and provides women with a viable option for preserving their fertility into the future.

Where can you have eggs frozen?

For more than a decade, Cape Fertility has offered egg freezing for women to preserve their fertility.

We are a leading fertility clinic that is registered and accredited by the Southern African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG).

Our team provides advanced preservation of your future fertility through the latest in egg freezing techniques. At Cape Fertility, our egg freezing is performed by specialists, whose primary concern is your medical safety. In addition, we use the most advanced technology available today, including a new culture media system and a Cryotec vitrification system to ensure very high egg survival rates.

All the procedures in egg freezing process are done at our purpose-built premises in Claremont, Cape Town. Our state-of-the-art facilities, along with our experienced team, ensure all the latest fertility treatments – including egg freezing – are offered with great success.

Over the years, we have also streamlined the process of egg retrieval, preservation and protection, which spans around two weeks, into five simple steps, and our specialist team will take great care of you every step of the way.

Egg Freezing in Five Steps

Step 1: Evaluating Your Fertility and Egg Reserve

Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation

Step 3: Egg Retrieval

Step 4: Egg Freezing

Step 5: Egg Storage

Once frozen, your eggs are kept safe and secure in liquid nitrogen at an even temperature of -196 degrees Celsius until you are ready to use them.

Your first step in preserving your fertility by freezing your eggs at Cape Fertility is simply to contact us by clicking here… our highly qualified and experienced fertility specialists will gladly answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.

We value each individual patient, and we look forward to providing you with our signature individualised and personalised care when you have eggs retrieved, frozen and stored in a friendly, relaxed and caring environment at our advanced, purpose-built facilities in the beautiful city of Cape Town.