The Scoop: Couples and singles alike face many difficult decisions when it comes to fertility. But with the help of Cofertility, they can make informed choices with professional support. Cofertility provides individualized family-planning options for people looking to freeze their eggs or build their family with the help of a donor.
The choices of when, where, how, and with whom to have children have never been so complicated. Both men and women are increasingly facing reproductive issues — a reality amplified by the increasing age of first-time parents. The high cost associated with child rearing, professional aspirations for women, and even scientific advancements that allow for the safe storage of reproductive cells have led many couples and individuals to consider new and creative possibilities to plan their families.
People who can’t conceive on their own now have the option to work with an egg donor and/or a surrogate to have a child. Women who feel the pressure of their biological clock have the option to freeze their eggs for later use and focus on the life goals and priorities that make sense for them at the moment. They can even donate some of those eggs to help friends or strangers start families.
Still, going through any sort of intervention to have a baby can feel confusing or complicated. And with donor eggs, it can be more difficult.
And perhaps worst of all, the process is expensive. Enthusiastic older couples may be able to swing the check financially, but for younger women — the primary demographic looking to freeze their eggs — that price tag is often prohibitive.
The founders of Cofertility saw the problems that come with modern fertility and realized that there was a way to make the journey positive and compassionate for women looking to freeze or donate their eggs and for individuals and parents looking to grow their families through egg donation. Cofertility’s human-first fertility ecosystem works to support you in your journey, whether you want to freeze your eggs for free when donating half of them to a family that can’t otherwise conceive, freeze and keep all your eggs for later use, or match with a pre-qualified egg donor.
“Each co-founder has a very personal and complicated journey with fertility, and those unique paths led us to build the kind of reproductive health company that we wanted to see,” Lauren Makler, CEO of Cofertility, told our team. “As co-founders, it’s our life’s work to give women more power over their reproductive health.”
The team at Cofertility has spearheaded a collaborative way for people to achieve their fertility goals and create the lives they want.
Consider Freezing Your Eggs
Women today are having children later in life than ever before. The average age of women giving birth just hit 30, making cryopreservation a good option for increasingly more women.
If you think you may want to have children in the future, it may be a good time to consider freezing your eggs or discussing the process with your partner. Women who know they’re a long way away from wanting kids may be inclined to brush off the thought as something that’s a problem for later in life. But in reality, your 20s to early 30s is the ideal time.
“According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), an optimal time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s and early 30s, while you have a higher ovarian reserve and eggs are healthier,” Lauren shared. “So whether you’re 25 or 35, you can absolutely freeze your eggs!”
Freezing your eggs at a younger age has a multitude of benefits. It reduces the risk of genetic abnormalities associated with ovarian aneuploidy or when an egg has an irregular number of chromosomes. It gives you options in terms of how to have your biological children, whether through a carrier or your partner, if they have a uterus. It frees up your stress over having children on a strict timeline.
“It puts the decision-making power entirely in your hands,” Lauren said. “Whether you’re freezing your eggs because you want to focus on your career or you’re getting a medical treatment that may affect your fertility later on, or you’re waiting to find the right partner, freezing your eggs allows you to preserve some of your fertility independently and can provide peace of mind.”
Seek Out Resources to Support Your Mental Health
The choices associated with your fertility can add stress to your life and relationships whether you’re preparing to become a parent, weighing the pros and cons of delaying parenthood, or considering letting another family use your eggs to conceive a child.
“It can be overwhelming–that’s why we built something more human, empathetic, and thoughtful with Cofertility,” Lauren said. “We think it’s a good idea to seek out resources like our blog, books, support groups, and/or therapy.” It’s important for anyone planning their family to take the necessary steps to protect their mental health for themselves, their partners and families, and even their potential future children.
Couples using eggs from a donor often feel anxiety about the unknowns of someone else’s DNA or disappointment over the inability to use both partners’ reproductive cells. Dr. Saira Jutty, a psychologist specializing in fertility, wrote a wonderful blog piece on Cofertility’s website about strategies couples can use to gain confidence about their decision, handle their fears, and air their worries. Cofertility’s site has other blogs and resources that provide excellent direction for anyone working with them or trying to process their journey with fertility.
Going through this stage of your life may be intimidating, but it has the potential to add joy, empowerment, and personal growth to your life. With the help of friends, family, professionals, and peers, you can find support so your journey with fertility is as positive and exciting as possible.
Cofertility’s Split Program: The Best of Both Worlds
While freezing your eggs is a great idea for a woman in young adulthood, it’s often difficult to afford the procedure at that age. “The reality is that the best time to freeze your eggs is often when you can least afford it,” Lauren said. “That’s because egg quantity and quality decrease over time, and outcomes are more favorable for those under 35.”
At the same time, couples struggling with infertility often have a difficult time finding an egg donor who feels right for their family. Cofertility sought to solve both issues with its Split program.
“We’ve brought together egg donation and egg freezing and have created a fertility care and third-party reproduction ecosystem that drives meaningful impact on both sides,” Lauren said. “Women can freeze their eggs for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to an individual or family that can’t otherwise conceive, and intended parents can match with egg donors looking to support the growth of a family.”
In order to become a Split member, women must go through a multi-step process to ensure they’re qualified according to FDA and ASRM-recommended screening guidelines.
By joining the Split program, they’re able to support their own ability to have a family the way they want in the future and give back to another family who can’t conceive. The program addresses the need for women to have an affordable way to take control of their own fertility and gives those hoping to have a child more opportunities to find the right donor. Women who would like to freeze their eggs but find the cost to be a barrier to entry should see if Cofertility’s Split program makes sense for them.
Readers who are interested in freezing their eggs with Cofertility can take this quiz, and those who are looking to pursue an egg donor to grow their families can start finding a match here.