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Egg freezing is more effective than IVF, new US report shows

A US fertility preservation report has shown that freezing eggs is more efficient than IVF for those wanting to have children later in life

The study found that 70 percent of women who froze eggs when they were younger than 38 – and thawed at least 20 eggs at a later date – had a baby.

Led by New York University Grossman School of Medicine researchers and the New York University Langone Fertility Center, the new finding was based on 15 years of real-life frozen egg thaw outcomes for women who had delayed childbearing and faced natural age-related fertility decline.

Published online May 18 in Fertility and Sterility, the study also found that a considerable number of the women studied had more than one child through egg preservation. It reported that 211 babies were born from egg freezing in total.

According to statistics gathered by the Center for Disease and Prevention from 500 fertility clinics, only 30 percent of women aged 40 trying to conceive using fresh eggs or embryos undergoing IVF became pregnant, and fewer than 20 percent gave birth to live babies as a result.

Egg freezing and thawing at a later date provides a higher pregnancy success rate than using fresh embryos during assisted reproductive technology, say the study authors.

Lead author Sarah Druckenmiller Cascante, MD, a fellow in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone said: “Our findings shed light on the factors that track successful births from egg freezing, which include careful screening of embryos to be thawed and implanted.

“A better understanding of the live birth rate from egg freezing for age-related fertility decline is necessary to inform patient decision-making.

“Importantly, our study is based on actual clinical experience rather than mathematical modeling with limited data, which is most of what has been published on the chance of births from egg freezing thus far.”

According to the US Census Bureau, the number of US women having children at older ages has been increasing for three decades. Birth rates have declined for women in their 20s and jumped for women in their late 30s and early 40. The average age at first birth has risen from 19 years old in 1984 to 30 years old in 2021 and is higher in many metropolitan areas.

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