Tallahassee, FL - We've all heard that 40 is the new 30 and with that. many couples are delaying efforts to have a family until later in life. However, fertility decreases with age in both men and women. In 2008, Kelly Trotman was diagnosed with rectal cancer. She underwent 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.
The treatment that could save her life also would destroy her remaining eggs in her ovaries, preventing her from having future children naturally. She admits "I had a 6 month old child, but I wanted to have more than one and I just didn't want that to be taken away from me." She also says she wanted to do whatever she could to try to preserve her fertility, even if there was only a slim chance. She says “we were able to save, we have 10 embryos and they are still frozen and hopefully in the future maybe we can look into using some of them."
Whether it be for medical reasons, career aspirations or maybe just not meeting the right partner, New Life Fertility Clinic in Tallahassee is offering options. Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Barry Ripps, says “we offer the full spectrum of reproductive services. If there is a concern about that woman's fertility, get started early, come in and be evaluated early, because time really is the one fertility factor we do not have a good way to reverse or treat."
When women come in to test their fertility, a pelvic ultrasound is performed which will confirm if they are ovulating. After consulting an expert, the process of freezing your eggs starts with using fertility drugs for 8 to 12 days, the clinic will monitor the growth of the eggs and once they are mature, the eggs are retrieved surgically. Ripps says "If a woman produces 10 or 12 eggs and 10 of them are mature, she has 10 potential chances of conception, and those eggs once they are frozen can be stored indefinitely, basically."
There are several lifestyle factors that can influence fertility. Experts recommend not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol, getting lots of sleep and reducing stress. According to Ripps, "the other finding more recently is, tobacco exposure, even second hand smoke exposure will delay conception.
So it takes longer to conceive with tobacco exposure." Since 2004, research has shown over 1500 hundred babies have been born using eggs that were previously frozen and there is no increased risk to the mothers or children born from this procedure. Ripps says "the woman's risk is based on her general health. If she is in good health at 40 or 45 or 50 and conceives with eggs of her own that were preserved or eggs from a donor, the pregnancy goes fairly well."
On March 17, 2013, Kelly will celebrate 4 years in remission and says she is thankful for the options she has been given. She says "I'm just very glad that I did it and I do have hope for the future." The cost for freezing your eggs can vary by clinic location, but usually ranges from 6,500 dollars to over 15,000 dollars on the high end. If you are interested in finding out more about the process of freezing your eggs, you can contact Dr. Barry Ripps at New Life Fertility Clinic at 850-857-3733 or go to their website at fertilityleaders.com