June 30, 2008

Some Cancer-Free Women Want to Freeze Eggs

By Heather May, The Salt Lake Tribune

Jun. 29--Some women who don't have cancer but want to delay childbearing also want to freeze their eggs.

The Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine at the University of Utah emphasizes the option for cancer patients, but will provide it for other women after they have been counseled about the chances, costs and risks.

"This is not a medical or commercial enterprise on our part," U. infertility doctor Kirtly Jones wrote in an e-mail. "We would consider it under the principle of patient autonomy, just as we do consider artificial insemination with donor sperm for single women who have not pair bonded and don't know when they will."

The privately owned Reproductive Care Center in Sandy plans to offer add egg freezing to women who are not cancer patients.

"There's a huge potential market," said infertility doctor Keith Blauer. "If we can be convinced this is safe technology and do it at a price that is fair and reasonable, there are a number of women that do not have the opportunity to be married who ought to have access to egg freezing."

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) considers the technology experimental and says it "should not be offered or marketed as a means to defer reproductive aging, primarily because data relating to clinical outcomes are limited."

Women under 35 should be told they likely will never use or need those eggs since most women marry by then and have an 85 percent chance of being fertile, the society says.


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