With Khloé Kardashian due to give birth to her first child this spring, their eldest sister, Kourtney Kardashian, is looking at her own fertility options. As People reports, the 38-year-old mother of three will discuss the possibility of freezing her eggs in the Feb. 25 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“So, I’ve been thinking about freezing my eggs,” the reality star tells her sisters Kim and Khloé in a sneak peek of the episode.
“I should just do it so I don’t have to think, ‘Is this what I want, to have kids?’” Kourtney responds. “It’s like, putting too much pressure.”
Well, that’s a plot twist. Kardashian split up with Scott Disick, the father of her three children — Mason, Penelope, and Reign — in 2015. Disick is now dating Sofia Richie, while Kardashian’s boyfriend is the 24-year-old model and former boxer Younes Bendjima.
Although a select few companies, including Facebook, cover the cost of egg-freezing as an employee benefit, many people pay out of pocket. Costs vary, and can run from around $5,000 to upwards of $15,000. The CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles, for example, has an egg-freezing package priced at $5,520, though initial consultations, ovary-stimulating medicines — another $2,000 to $4,500, according to Eggsurance — genetic testing, and storage past the first year is not included in that total. The eventual thawing and fertilization of said eggs can also fall between $10,000 and $20,000.
Following screenings, the process itself begins with the first day of a woman’s period. Patients inject themselves with ovary-stimulating medications to boost egg production. After regular scans and close monitoring, an egg retrieval is scheduled; if no eggs are collected or are of unsatisfactory quality, the process will repeat with the next cycle. Otherwise, the mature eggs that have been collected will be fast-frozen in a process called vitrification. At a later date, the eggs are thawed — although some might not survive that process — and then fertilized and implanted.
Success rates are difficult to pin down because freezing techniques vary, but the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) is considered one of the best barometers for measuring an egg’s chance of becoming a live birth. According to their reports, success rates can drop dramatically once a woman reaches her 40s.
Despite the cost and other concerns, more and more women are pursuing egg freezing as a sort of insurance policy should they want to conceive in the future. A 2016 Time article estimated that 76,000 women will undergo the process by 2018.
Will Kourtney Kardashian join their ranks? Watch this space.
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