A few weeks ago, I went home to Dallas to visit my mom after she underwent a series of neck and shoulder surgeries. Her health has been a little rocky the past few years, so I appreciate every minute I get to spend catching up with her and laughing. One afternoon during that weekend, we were chatting about my friends, many of whom are engaged and tying the knot soon, when she decided to have "the talk" with me. No, not that talk.
"Brooke, you should really consider freezing your eggs."
Maybe it was the painkillers talking, or maybe all the procedures she was having lately got her thinking about wanting grandkids sooner rather than later but either way, she said it and I can't forget it.
"I'm just saying. Do it now, and then forget about it until everything in your life is ready for a baby."
I shrugged it off at first. I'm only 23 years old! I have many years left before the crunch time when I need to start stressing about having kids. Although my mom was 23 when she started a family, that is far from the age I want a bunch of little ones running around calling me mommy. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely want kids one day. But is this really something I need to be worrying about now?
Then I got to thinking. My mom is usually right about everything (I'm not a teenager anymore, so I can admit that). Maybe she was on to something?
According to recent studies, your 20s are actually the best time to consider oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) because of the high quality and egg count during that time. Every few years, your chances of conceiving successfully with a frozen egg decrease considerably. In fact, a study by CNN showed that a woman who freezes her eggs in her early 30s has a 40-50 percent chance of achieving pregnancy, but a woman who freezes them in her late 30s has only a 20-25 percent chance.
Although most of those considering freezing their eggs are more focused on careers than families right now, many parents are seeing it as an option to leave the growth of their family open-ended. Take Sofia Vergara for instance. She had her first son decades ago, but she recently decided to freeze her eggs in case one day when she's ready she decides she wants another baby. Not a bad idea.
However, the freezing process does come at a hefty price many adults can't afford, let alone 20-year-olds. Not only is it tens of thousands of dollars up front, but there's also an additional 4-digit annual charge for housing the eggs. And unfortunately, positive results aren't guaranteed.
In all honesty, I probably won't be rushing to the doctor today to have the procedure, but I am glad my mom introduced the idea to me. It's never too early to educate yourself on your body and medical advances. And as I've learned from my mom, it's never to early to have "the talk."
Image: Three white eggs via Shutterstock by Photastic