Dr David Knight Younger Women Freezing Eggs Interview

Dr David Knight Younger Women Freezing Eggs Interview

Dr David Knight Younger Women Freezing Eggs Interview

As the average age of new mothers is increasing and many women are waiting longer to have children, egg freezing is increasing in popularity and demand. The technique is giving women past the age of 25 the opportunity to store their eggs at their current age and ultimately slow down their biological clock.

Demeter Fertility's Dr David Knight and his wife, Dr Sonya Jessup, are fertility experts who have been through the IVF process together. As an IVF specialist who has walked the path of his patients, Dr Knight understands the interest from young women who are considering freezing their eggs for later in life because they are not yet at the stage of having children.

'Scientific technology has resulted in women having the opportunity to delay childbearing due to personal circumstances, such as work or relationships," says Dr Knight. 'Having this opportunity means that their eggs can be safely frozen when they are younger, then fertilised and implanted at a later date when the woman feels ready to have a child," he says.

The chance of a woman falling pregnant naturally from 35 to 40 years decreases to less than 10%, per month, however if she freezes her eggs at a younger age, they can be stored as the most viable eggs she will ever have. Both the ovary and eggs age with time, but the uterus does not and can successfully carry a pregnancy into a woman's 40s.

'Egg freezing offers women with cancer some hope that they will still be able to have children after treatment," says Dr Knight. 'The woman's eggs can be preserved prior to any surgery, chemotherapy or radiation that she may go through, as sadly many of these treatments can destroy the eggs, resulting in infertility. The eggs are frozen at temperatures near -200 degrees Celsius and can be stored for a standard period of 10 years."

'There is no reason that women wishing to try and preserve their fertility should be excluded from accessing this technology," he added.

These days, many women are choosing to have healthy and successful pregnancies later in life using their eggs from when they were younger. It is important however for any woman considering having a baby to receive tailored information to their specific situation and age, therefore ensuring they are making the most of their natural fertility.
www.demeterfertility.com


Interview with Dr David Knight

Question: Why has egg freezing increase in popularity?

Dr David Knight: I think basically for two reasons. The first is that it now works and the pregnancy rates from frozen eggs are basically the same as the pregnancy rates from standard IVF. This change is a result of new egg freezing techniques that have become available over the past three years. The second is that people are becoming aware of this option, and for some the opportunity to "bank some insurance" in regard to having a family is too good to pass up.


Question: Is this an option you'd suggest to your family and friends?

Dr David Knight: Yes, if the circumstances were right. My sister doesn't have kids, she didn't meet the right guy until her mid-40s and I suspect she would have very much appreciated the opportunity.


Question: At what age do you recommend women freeze their eggs?

Dr David Knight: The chances of having a baby with each egg collection doesn't change too much until around the age of 38. If women are aware that they may be looking at having a child after 38-40, then freezing eggs before the age of 38 will increase their chances.


Question: Is there a minimum and maximum age that women can/should freeze their eggs?

Dr David Knight: I think it depends upon why women might want to be freezing their eggs. If it's for medical reasons, then when that medical situation arises, that's the age. For social reasons or lack of opportunity, well not too many women think about it before the age of 30, 35 is an age where women have a good understanding of their circumstances, and still have reasonable fertility chances.


Question: How many of a woman's -eggs' are frozen?

Dr David Knight: I think it depends upon why women might want to be freezing their eggs. If it's for medical reasons, then when that medical situation arises, that's the age. For social reasons or lack of opportunity, well not too many women think about it before the age of 30, 35 is an age where women have a good understanding of their circumstances, and still have reasonable fertility chances.


Question: How long can these eggs be frozen for and why is there a limit on the freezing process?

Dr David Knight: Eggs can be frozen for 5 year periods under Australian law. The freezing time must be re-visited each 5 years. Freezing can be continued after each 5 year assessment if the woman desires this.


Question: What is the likelihood of a woman who has frozen her eggs becoming pregnant when the time is right for her?

Dr David Knight: The chances are the same as they would be for a woman doing IVF, at the age when the eggs were collected. That is if a 42 year woman froze eggs at 35, her chances of having a baby are those of a 35 year old. Generally the chances of a baby per IVF cycle in this age group is 1 in 3 to 1 in 4. The chances of a 42 year getting pregnant each IVF cycle is 1 in 8 to 1 in 12. There is a big difference.


Question: What are the disadvantages of this type of IVF?

Dr David Knight: People may not need to use the eggs as their circumstances may change and they may have a baby without IVF.


Question: What advantages do you hold as an IVF specialist who has walked the path of your patients?

Dr David Knight: I think that first-hand experience always changes how a person sees the world. We can observe the emotions and behaviours of others when the undergo life stressors, but actually living those stressors provides a very different view of the world. I understand the frustration, the waiting, the delays and "wrong" outcomes. But I also understand the persistence when you don't want to persist, and the amazing feelings associated with finding out that you are on the way to getting a baby that wouldn't ever have been possible without IVF.


Interview by Brooke Hunter




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