published Thursday, September 1st, 2011

ASK A DOCTOR

Q: I want to have a baby, but I'm still single and not getting any younger. What can I do to preserve my fertility?

A: After age 30, a woman has only a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. Odds decline to 5 percent by age 40 because of decreasing egg quality. Additional fertility challenges other than age can lower the likelihood even further. One new solution is egg freezing. Eggs retrieved from a woman's body now can be frozen before fertili-zation, broadening options for those not yet ready to conceive but wanting to start families later in life. Cryopreservation suspends the biological clock for eggs and keeps the quality of those eggs from diminishing while in frozen storage. Egg freezing also lets cancer victims safeguard their chances for motherhood before undergoing surgery or treatments that might damage the ovaries or even cause sterility.

-- Dr. Barry Donesky, reproductive endocrinologist

at the Fertility Center; member, Chattanooga

Hamilton County

Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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