September 11, 2023 by
Lucy Gardner Carson
Amanda Kallen, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences
(SEPTEMBER 11, 2023) Bravo’s The Daily Dish spoke with Amanda Kallen, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, about an egg-freezing vs. embryo-freezing debate between two women on the reality TV show Real Housewives of New York City.
In a recent episode of the show, one of the women shared her positive experience with freezing her own eggs, something the other woman hadn’t seen through, citing hormone injections and costs. The second woman also claimed that while filling out an intake form, medical professionals suggested she try embryo freezing as a more successful alternative and required her to provide contact information for a potential biological father.
The Daily Dish asked Kallen about the woman’s account of her experience.
Oocyte cryopreservation (egg-freezing), Kallen explained, is when a woman’s eggs are removed from the ovaries and stored for future use as “a way of preserving reproductive ability in women (or individuals with ovaries)” and an alternative for “anyone who isn’t planning pregnancy immediately” but might want to explore their options in the future. “Embryo freezing entails fertilization of the egg with sperm and freezing the resulting embryo. Whereas frozen eggs need to be thawed and fertilized with partner or donor sperm for use at a later date.” Kallen continued, “Embryo freezing entails fertilization of the egg with sperm and freezing the resulting embryo, whereas frozen eggs need to be thawed and fertilized with partner or donor sperm for use at a later date.”
When asked by The Daily Dish if claims that freezing embryos is more successful than freezing eggs, Kallen said it’s a “two-part answer.” Though some studies show that both have a 97 percent success rate, she said the difference is that embryos are “farther along” in the process.
“A frozen egg needs to be fertilized, cultured for a few days in the lab, and then the resulting embryo needs to be transferred back into the uterus. But not all frozen eggs will fertilize well, and not all embryos will continue to grow well in culture, and not all embryos will become a viable pregnancy.”
Kallen did add she’s “never heard of a clinic requiring contact information for a potential father or sperm donor” and that such requirements sounded “intrusive and unnecessary” and “irrelevant to the decision to freeze eggs.”
“If the patient has a male partner, it’s reasonable to discuss whether it’s more appropriate to freeze eggs or embryos, depending on whether it’s a serious [or] long-term relationship,” said Kallen. “But I would hope a doc wouldn’t insist on contact information for a potential father or donor.”
Read full story
at Bravo’s The Daily Dish