Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interview on Egg Harvsting with Elizabeth Higgins Clark

Photo by Bobby Quillard
I had a chance to interview actress Elizabeth Higgins Clark about her story on freezing her eggs at age 29 in order to take control of her biological clock while pursuing her booming acting career. With the optimal cut-off age to freeze ones eggs at 32 in order to create healthy eggs, she believes that the ramifications of taking this step in a women's life has the potential to significantly rock the reproductive boat. Freezing ones' eggs gives a woman the best chance of having a baby when her life is ready and Elizabeth is a leading outspoken advocate to educate young women everywhere about the vast and important benefits of egg freezing in your twenties.

Why did you decide to freeze eggs when you did?

About a year ago I read a brief article about a woman giving birth to her first child at the age of 49. I thought, "how does that work?" So, I started doing some research. Given the woman's advanced age, she most likely used a donor egg. After learning that the cutoff to be an egg donor in the US is 32, I thought "wouldn't it be great if I could be my own egg donor." I had consultations with two doctors before I selected Dr. Michael Drews at RMANJ. I was 29 during our initial meeting. He told me that he often sees women who are a decade older and he can't help them. He highlighted the benefits of taking a step like this at a younger age.
What were some things you considered when choosing a storage option?

I have lived in Los Angeles for the past five years, but most of my family is in New York and New Jersey. Since I don't know how long I will be in LA, I decided to have the procedure on the East Coast because I do know that my family will always be there. I also asked a lot of questions about the facility my eggs are being kept in. I wanted to know about the back up and contingency plans in place in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.

What makes 32 the cut-off age?

At a certain point the egg quality just isn't what it used to be. Doctors feel that age 32 is the point where the quality and quantity of an egg harvest is no longer suitable for egg donorship.

What advice would you give women who are trying to decide if this is the best option for them?

Do your homework. It's not a decision to be made lightly. There is a lot to learn and think about.  Take the time to do that. Talk with people you love and trust about it. If egg freezing is right for you, great. If not, that's great too. There is no right way to do this. It's just something every woman should know about.

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