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Social Freezing: Preserving Fertility for Tomorrow

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Social freezing, also known as social cryopreservation, is an emerging trend that's changing the way women approach family planning.

It offers a unique opportunity to preserve fertility potential and defer the journey of motherhood to a later stage in life.

Let's unpack what social freezing is, the circumstances that lead people to choose it, and whether it's the right option for you. Additionally, we'll provide practical advice on how to preserve fertility through diet, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle.

What is Social Freezing?

Social freezing is a fertility preservation technique that involves the freezing of a woman's eggs (oocyte cryopreservation) or embryos for non-medical, social reasons.

It empowers women to take control of their reproductive timeline by allowing them to postpone motherhood while preserving their fertility potential.

Why Are People Choosing Social Freezing?

People are turning to social freezing for various reasons:

  • Career Goals: Many women are prioritizing their careers and want to achieve professional milestones before starting a family.
  • Personal Circumstances: Some may not have found the right partner or are not ready for parenthood due to personal circumstances.
  • Health Concerns: Health conditions or medical treatments may pose a risk to fertility, prompting individuals to preserve their eggs or embryos for future use.

Should You Consider Social Freezing?

Deciding whether social freezing is right for you is a personal choice. Consider the following factors:

  • Age: The optimal time for egg freezing is typically in your late 20s to early 30s when egg quality and quantity are at their peak. However, it remains an option for older women, though success rates may decrease with age.
  • Personal Goals: Reflect on your career, personal goals, and family planning aspirations. Social freezing can provide flexibility to align your fertility journey with your life goals.
  • Health Status: If you have health conditions or are facing medical treatments that could impact fertility, consult with a healthcare professional to explore fertility preservation options.

Preserving Fertility Through Diet, Nutritional Supplements, and Lifestyle

Even if you're not considering social freezing, there are steps you can take to promote fertility:

Diet:

Optimise your diet with these fertility-friendly choices:

  • Include Oestrogen-Boosting Foods: Incorporate leafy greens, whole grains, fruits, and foods rich in healthy fats to support oestrogen production.
  • Fibre-Rich Diet: A diet high in fibre can help regulate hormone levels. Include plenty of fibre-rich foods like beans, lentils, and vegetables.

Nutritional Supplements:

Consider these supplements that may enhance reproductive health:

  • Folic Acid: Folic acid is crucial for early pregnancy and foetal development. Consult a healthcare provider for recommended dosages. We recommend opting for folate rather than folic acid. Research suggests that folate can positively affect ovarian function and may even improve the efficacy of fertility treatments. Adequate folate levels have also been linked to improved embryo quality, which is a key factor for successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy.
  • Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels support reproductive health. Deficiency of the vitamin is common amongst the UK population, and the NHS recommends taking a supplement of 400iu per day. 

Lifestyle Choices:

Adopt a healthy lifestyle to support your fertility:

  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking can harm your reproductive organs and decrease fertility. Seek support to quit if you smoke.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess body weight or being underweight can affect your menstrual cycle and fertility. Aim for a healthy weight range.

Whether you choose social freezing or not, these diet, supplement, and lifestyle choices can contribute to your overall well-being and reproductive health.

Further reading

  • Fertility Tests Explained

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    Fertility Tests Explained

  • IVF After 40

    Article

    IVF After 40

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