Egg Freezing at EVOLVE: Why Refer?
Egg Freezing at EVOLVE: Why Refer (Video Transcript).
Narrated by Tavia McLachlan, Director of Special Projects for EVOLVE
– [Narrator] Well, it’s been a minute or two since your one med school lecture on fertility and a lot has happened in the world, so let’s get you quickly caught up on eggs and fertility. Some stats. An assigned female at birth is born with over 1 million eggs. They actually have the most oocytes they will ever have as a fetus, between 6 and 7 million. By puberty, there are roughly 350,000 and by 30, around 12% of the eggs are left.
– As you can see from the screen, 35 has been labelled advanced maternal age, where the quality and quantity of eggs start to drastically decline year over year. By 45, there’s a 1% monthly chance that an assigned female at birth who’s never conceived can get pregnant with their own 45-year-old eggs. I spoke about quality and quantity. These graphs depict how there’s a sharp decline in each around 35 years of age. For those born with female reproductive organs, peak fertility is actually at around 25 years old. The issue is for many reasons, people are no longer starting families at the age of 25.
– You know your patients, the ones who most likely are renewing their birth control pill annually. They’re busy with work, travel, school, or just quite simply haven’t found the right partner. For a myriad of reasons, some people don’t even begin trying to conceive until 30, 35, or 40 and unfortunately, it is then that they might find out that there’s a problem. So what is egg freezing? Well, egg freezing is not new. It’s been around for over 30 years, with decades of science and technology behind it. It involves extracting eggs from the ovaries, preserving mature eggs with vitrification, and then storing them for use at a later date. Vitrification really changed the game. Using vitrification, or flash freezing, egg survival rates are over 90%. This actually led the ASRM, or the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, to drop the experimental label in 2012. What egg freezing does is it captures the quality of the egg at the time of collection so any eggs frozen in time will essentially remain that way, remain at that age, until the patient wants to use them. Why are patients looking to freeze? There are many medical reasons patients come in looking to freeze, whether it be gender transition, chemotherapy, or a family history of early menopause. or endometriosis, however the most common reason women, specifically women in their thirties, are reaching out to us is to give themselves time, time to find the right partner, to deal with personal goals, to get through COVID. They don’t want to rush into anything. They also don’t want to look back and wish they’d tried for kids at an earlier age. I have a great article published in the CMAJ about social egg freezing, looking at the benefits, risks, and other considerations. I’d be happy to send you a copy or discuss it.
– So, who’s EVOLVE? EVOLVE is the first and only clinic in Canada dedicated to only egg freezing. By focusing only on egg freezing patients, we can free up time in other fertility clinics for your infertile patients. We can decrease wait times and we can cater to the unique needs of our egg freezing patients. We’re an expert team of reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, nurses, naturopaths, and therapists, and we have over 40 years of clinical experience. With your referral, we offer your patients a free fertility assessment. This helps them see where they’re at right now and gives them a chance to ask questions and get answers. This also frees up your time to spend with your other patients or other projects you have on the go.
– Questions? If you’re looking for patient materials or to run an in-clinic lunch and learn for doctors or an educational talk for your patients, let us know. We host in-house events, virtual lunch and learns, and are part of a fabulous women’s health speaker series. For more information on referring patients please see our website. For anything else, please reach out to the email listed on the screen.