Philadelphia fertility center hosts 'Egg Freezing 101' cocktail parties

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Beating the biological clock with a backup plan - a Philadelphia fertility center is hosting cocktail parties for women to learn more about freezing their eggs.

Champagne was pouring and glasses were clinking as dozens of women gathered for a cocktail party.

But this party had a purpose - it was "Egg Freezing 101" hosted by Society Hill Reproductive Medicine.

We spoke with Dr. Maureen Kelly before the festivities.

"We wanted a setting where people were going to feel comfortable, to meet each other, to meet women who have actually gone through this already," said Dr. Kelly.

34-year-old Emily Seroska is one of those women.

"Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to have children," said Seroska.

Like many, she delayed having children partly due to devoting time to her career.

But also because she wants to find Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now.

So she choose to freeze her eggs last year.

"To me, it's an insurance policy against making a bad or a rushed decision," said Seroska.

Dr. Kelly says the egg freezing process has significantly improved over the past few years. In fact, it's no longer considered experimental.

"Doesn't seem that the actual freezing and thawing techniques damage the eggs. These eggs will work as well as fresh eggs," said Dr. Kelly.

The success rate using eggs from women under age 34 is up to 60 percent. For women 35 and older, it ranges from 25 to 47 percent. (Source: Practice Committees of American Society of Reproductive Medicine and American Society for Reproductive Medicine Guidelines, 2013)

The whole process takes about four weeks.

First, women have to inject a medication for about ten days, which can come with side effects such as bloating.

Labs and ultrasounds are also done then the eggs are retrieved under sedation.

Seroska was back to work the next day.

"Even though I haven't seen the end result yet and one day I will, I already feel confident that it was one of the best decisions that I ever made," said Seroska.

It is a big and expensive decision, but now that more women are putting off pregnancy, it's a popular one.

"I wanted to be executive vice president and focused on that and then woke up a few months ago and thought, 'Hmm - maybe I want to have a baby,'" said Traci Wolvert.

As for moving medicine to inside a bar, some may call it a marketing ploy, but not these women.

"I think it's great. I think everything is a little better with wine - makes it easier to talk about these kinds of things," said Jillian Johnston.

"It's nice because you are among people who are dealing with the same decision you're trying to make," said Hillary Close.

As for price, egg freezing costs between $7,500-$12,000.

Some insurance plans will cover the cost but most just cover a portion of the process.

And there is also a charge for storing your eggs.

Dr. Kelly and her team at Society Hill Reproductive Medicine will be hosting two more parties on March 18th and April 29th.

This also something for women battling cancer. They can do it before starting chemotherapy. There are several centers in our area that offer egg freezing.

And if you have questions about egg freezing or other fertility questions, we are hosting a live Facebook chat on Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Experts will be available to answer your questions. You can join in the discussion by going to the 6abc Action News Facebook page.

Click below for more information:

-Sign up for Egg Freezing 101

-Society Hill Reproductive Medicine
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