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Freezing Eggs At 40: Is It Too Late? 

Freezing your eggs is an empowering choice that offers you an extended family planning timeline and options in other areas of your life. Yet, how late is too late? 

With concerns about aging, budgets, and more, you may wonder when the best time is for fertility preservation. Is it possible to freeze your eggs at 40? In this article, we look at the best age for egg freezing, whether freezing your eggs at 40 is possible, and more.

Why Do People Freeze Their Eggs? 

There are many reasons people choose to freeze their eggs. The most common ones include:

  • Time to find the right partner
  • Education, career, or personal goals
  • Family history of early menopause
  • Chronic or genetic conditions
  • Endometriosis (a progressive condition that can impact the quality and quantity of eggs.)
  • Medical reasons (chemotherapy, gender transition)

Ultimately, the choice to freeze your eggs is a personal one. It may involve one or a combination of the above (or other reasons outside of these). No matter your reasons, informing yourself regarding the best time to freeze your eggs and how the process works can help guide your plan.

What Is the Best Age to Freeze Your Eggs?

We often hear that before the age of 34 is best. This is largely due to research indicating that there is a higher probability of birth with egg freezing before 34. (You can also check out this helpful chart to give you an idea of the success of egg freezing at different life stages).

The truth is we are born with between one to two million eggs. However, as time goes on, this decreases. People are, technically, the most fertile in their early 20s. Yet, aging gives way to various factors that can impact the DNA inside the eggs, making it more difficult to get pregnant and stay pregnant.

This means that the optimal success rates for egg freezing fall between 27 and 34 years of age. And this doesn’t mean that at 35, we hit a wall by any means; fertility gradually declines. It simply means that after 35 years of age, our chances of a successful pregnancy are likely to be lower. But they aren’t zero. 

Can I Freeze My Eggs at 40?

While freezing after 40 is certainly not impossible, research indicates that success rates are significantly lower when compared to freezing your eggs in your 30s. 

This means that if you’re considering egg freezing and you aren’t yet 40, the best time to freeze your eggs is today. The sooner, the better, since this is likely to lead to healthier and more successful outcomes.  

At EVOLVE, we primarily work with patients under 40 for egg freezing procedures. However, we understand that individuals may still undergo their reproductive cycle when they are 40 or older. In such instances, we can refer you to our sister clinic, TRIO Fertility. Their experienced reproductive endocrinologists can provide tailored guidance and support for your specific needs.

What Is the Egg Freezing Process?

If you’re considering egg freezing, the next step is knowing what to expect. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how this process works.

Step 1: Consultation

With EVOLVE, we walk you through every step of the way. During a complementary 30-minute phone consult, our nurses will explain what to expect. They also answer any questions or concerns.

Step 2: Fertility Assessment

When you’re ready, you’ll have an in-person consult with an EVOLVE physician. 

Fertility testing includes gathering your medical history, and taking specific blood tests and a timed ultrasound around your menstrual cycle. The testing takes approximately 30-60 minutes at EVOLVE.

Tests may include:

  • AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) to assess the number of eggs.
  • FSH, LH, and Estradiol to provide insights into your fertility status.
  • AFC (Antral-Follicle Count) measures growing eggs in your ovaries.

Step 3: Follow-Up Appointment

During this appointment, you and your EVOLVE physician discuss the results. This will help predict the number of eggs to be collected and your planned stimulation cycle.

Step 4: Stimulation

This is where you take medication to help stimulate mature egg follicles. Your specific medications will depend on your test results. This stage can range from eight to 14 days.

Step 5: Egg Retrieval

This procedure involves light sedation. Our team will carefully extract the eggs from your ovaries. Most only report minor discomfort. However, it’s recommended to take it easy for the remainder of the day.

Step 6: Egg Freezing

From there, our embryologists use a method called vitrification to rapidly freeze all of the mature eggs. So, how long can you store your eggs for? Well, your eggs can be stored indefinitely and will be ready for you when you need them.  

Egg Quality At 40

After 40, the odds of getting pregnant are significantly reduced. This is largely due to reduced egg quality. Individuals 35 and older often experience increased miscarriages, increased risks of infertility, and increased risks of congenital birth defects. This is often because of changes in the DNA of the egg. 

How To Improve Egg Quality After 40

The good news is that some of this is within your control. Here are a few things you can do to improve egg quality after 40:

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake.
  • Get sufficient quality sleep.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Limit processed foods.
  • Manage stress in healthy ways (such as meditation or deep breathing).

For tailored support in enhancing egg quality before an egg freezing procedure, EVOLVE collaborates closely with our in-house fertility naturopaths from Conceive Health. 

Through our Pre-Freeze program, we take a comprehensive approach to dietary adjustments, lifestyle modifications, and strategic supplementation — all aimed at optimizing your reproductive health and boosting your chances of success.

What Are the Side Effects of Egg Freezing?

Some side effects of egg freezing are temporary and can include:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort

Egg retrieval complications, such as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), is extremely rare (around 1%). Our team monitors you closely throughout your cycle and makes adjustments as needed, to minimize any risk. 

Depending on your circumstances and history, there may be some emotional considerations to take into account. With EVOLVE, we can refer you to our trained fertility counsellors and other resources to help you with any fertility decisions and this process.

When Is It Too Late To Freeze Your Eggs?

The chances of a successful birth after 40 drop significantly, so freezing after 40 isn’t often recommended. But if you’re unsure, we recommend chatting with a fertility doctor or nurse. Bottom line: the best time to freeze your eggs is now. The sooner you do it, the better your odds will be down the road when the timing feels right.

Freezing Eggs Cost

Egg freezing with EVOLVE typically costs $8,600 per cycle, plus $3000—$5000 for fertility medications, depending on your protocol. Many extended health plans will cover a portion of the medications. Check out our transparent pricing here. The final cost depends on your specific stimulation plan. If you’re interested, get in touch with our expert team at EVOLVE today. Begin the next phase of your life feeling empowered and confident in your decisions.