"There is a common misconception that people seek nonmedical egg freezing because they are motivated and focused on their career, but in reality it is not that at all, ”she said.
"These are people who want to have children, but their personal situation does not correspond to that at the moment.
Regardless of whether the decision was made before cancer treatment or because of age, women have undergone egg freezing for the same reason, a Johnston said. "All egg freezers are made ... to try and fight childlessness in the future.
Dr Alex Pol yakov, fertility specialist in Melbourne IVF who did not participate in the study, said they saw a significant increase in the number of women wondering and undergoing egg freezing procedures.
There were 4,048 Victorian women with frozen eggs in storage, according to a 2020 report from the Victorian Assisted ReproductiveTreatment Authority. This was a 30% increase over the previous year.
In Australia and New Zealand, the number of egg freezing cycles performed each year has increased by approximately 860% between 2010 and 2018 .
Polyakov, also a clinical lecturer at the University of Melbourne, said the egg freezing technology was originally developed for women with medical conditions that could jeopardize their chance to have their own biological children.
"Then people have thisstarted using it as a kind of reproductive insurance, ”he said. "Over time, more and more women are accessing it.
" The technology has become mature, so it is no longer experimental. We know that a frozen egg has the same chance of producing a baby as a fresh egg, ”he said, adding that success rates depended on the age of the woman when the eggs were first produced. been frozen.
Johnston said the results laid the groundwork for discussions on existing criteria for freezing state-subsidized eggs.
"This really calls into question the current distinction we use. That is, having a medical indication or not is a way justified in allocating public funds, "she said.
" The reason it is important is that freezing eggs is so expensive.ccess to Medicare discounts could be the difference between whether someone can access this procedure or not. "
Using such a distinction in allocating funds could result in higher costs to the health care system and poorer individual treatment outcomes, Johnston added.
"Whereas A 35-year-old woman seeking non-medical egg freezing may not be eligible for a subsidized cycle of treatment, if the same woman presents for egg freezing in five years… it is likely that she would now be eligible for treatment reimbursements due to having reduced fertility due to her age.
"If women seek egg freezing at an advanced maternal age , i It is likely that they will require several cycles in order to have a sufficient reserve of eggs, which has a significant cost for the individual and the system.public health issue. "
The study was published in the journal Reproductive biomedicine and online society .