Freezing your eggs so that you can, in theory, thaw and use them later in life is like having an "insurance policy" — or so we've been told. Maybe you won't need them, but hey, it's better to have them and not need them than the alternative — or so we've been told. The truth: Freezing your eggs is way more complicated than many of us realize, according to a new video from FertilityIQ (below). For instance, even the seemingly simple question of "How many eggs do I need to be successful?" for egg-freezing is answered with a lot of ambiguity. It turns out there's no one right number. Instead, the number of eggs that will give you the best chances for a successful pregnancy later on depends on your age: Those who are freezing their eggs at a younger age probably don't need as many because their eggs will be of better quality. But those who are undergoing the procedure later on (over age 35), probably want to freeze more, because they may need to use more in order to get an egg of sufficient quality.
Then, of course, there are the questions of cost (expect at least $10,000 each time) and whether or not you'll actually end up being able to thaw and use those eggs later on. Although egg-freezing is a great option to have, it's not exactly the perfect insurance policy many of us assume it to be. Plus, as with most fertility issues, doctors don't always agree on the specifics, which is why FertilityIQ pulls together several experts to weigh in on each topic. That's something that patients don't necessarily see if they only go to one clinic. Originally launched back in February, FertilityIQ is like an independent "Yelp for fertility clinics." Users can review and rate their experiences with doctors and facilities across the country, so that others can compare results when looking for their own fertility treatment. That's especially important because this kind of unbiased data doesn't really exist anywhere else. Yet the site's cofounders felt there was still more to do. "There are still really important, grinding questions — lots of them — that [users] need answers to," says cofounder Jake Anderson-Bialis. "We've come to realize that it's our job to provide thoughtful, credible, data-driven information that elucidates these myriad issues." The new video (extended version here) is part of the site's relaunch. In addition to a series of in-depth videos about fertility-related topics, the site's major feature — fertility clinic and doctor reviews — is getting even more helpful. Now that the site reaches about a third of all fertility patients in the U.S., FertilityIQ has enough data to let users refine their searches by patient type. That means they'll be able to get results from people who are more like them in age, ethnicity, income, and fertility goals — and, hopefully, more likely to have similar experiences. "I'll search by 'New York,' 'Ashkenazi Jewish woman,' 'consultant,' and I'm like, Oh my gosh, my people! Everything you're saying totally resonates with me!" says cofounder Deborah Anderson-Bialis. At the same time, "We're trying to provide honest, transparent, two-sided information so people can see the spectrum of opinion that's out there," Deborah says. "[Although there is uncertainty,] we've tried to arm people with all of the data that does exist."
Ed. Note: Refinery29's global editor-in-chief and cofounder, Christene Barberich, also serves on the advisory board of FertilityIQ.