After struggling with endometriosis for years, singer Halsey revealed that she's planning to freeze her eggs to be prepared if she wants children later in life.
"I’m 23 years old, and I’m going to freeze my eggs," she said during an appearance on the talk show programme The Doctors. "And when I tell people that, they’re like, ‘You’re 23, why do you need to do that? Why do you need to freeze your eggs?’ Doing an ovarian reserve is important to me, because I’m fortunate enough to have that as an option, but I need to be aggressive about protecting my fertility, about protecting myself."
Endometriosis, a condition in which the endometrial lining that usually grows inside your uterus grows on the outside instead, is commonly linked to fertility problems. Though endometriosis doesn't always lead to infertility, it can make it harder for your fallopian tubes to receive the egg when you're ovulating, and it can make it more difficult for the embryo to attach to the uterus.
Avner Hershlag, MD, chief of Northwell Health’s Center for Human Reproduction, says that because endometriosis can be a chronic condition, if you're able to freeze your eggs to theoretically thaw and use them to conceive later in life, you might want to think about doing so.
"Endometriosis is a chronic condition and tends to come back even after surgery," he says. "The disease itself, as well as surgeries, threatens to diminish ovarian reserve, and therefore freezing eggs early on is a smart, proactive strategy."
In other words, even though having endometriosis doesn't mean you won't ever have children, it might lessen your chances. So freezing your eggs early is one way to increase the likelihood that you'll have access to viable eggs when you're ready.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition and tends to come back even after surgery.
Avner Hershlag, MD
Dr. Hershlag also says that your chances of conceiving are impacted by the stage of endometriosis you've been diagnosed with. There are four stages in total, and while you may have trouble getting pregnant in the more severe stages (three and four), your chances for conceiving are better in stages one and two. Plus, once someone who has endometriosis does get pregnant, it's usually a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy.
However, it's important to note that freezing your eggs is expensive — at least £7,000 each time you go through the process — and not everyone has the resources to be able to do it. While it's a great option for extra security, it's not exactly a guarantee that you'll have a child. Just like everyone's body is different, everybody's chances are different, and you might have to go through the process more than once to retrieve usable eggs.
If you can't freeze your eggs, there are other options for having children. And it's important to remember that having endometriosis doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be able to conceive.
Either way, becoming a parent is one of the biggest decisions you can make, and if you're thinking about freezing your eggs for the future, it's best to talk to a doctor who can tell you what your best options are, should you decide that you want to have a child.
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