In A New Reason to Make Aliyah: Free Egg Freezing, Allison Kaplan Sommer reports on a new development in Israeli health insurance:
The state will now cover the freezing of 20 eggs harvested in up to four extractions from young, healthy women, which can be stored, should she decide to have kids at a later age and find herself unable to conceive naturally.
This can take the pressure off of women who hit their mid-30s, who may not have met Mr. Right, aren’t ready to single motherhood yet, or who simply want to delay childbearing for career reasons.
“Our main goal is to allow women to keep their own eggs for future pregnancy, thereby obviating the need for egg donation. We also expect the cost of treatment to be low,” the Health Ministry’s legal adviser, attorney Mira Huebner-Harel, told Haaretz.
Kaplan Sommer adds that Israel’s generous fertility treatment, including free egg-harvesting, could encourage aliyah for Jewish 30-something women. I know of an Israeli citizen who returned to Israel to get infertility treatment. Her husband visits once a month from the US–a different kind of commuter marriage. Another friend was advised to continue living in Israel for a year or two after her marriage, just in case she would need treatment.
Waiting until your 30s to harvest your eggs may be too late, however. IVF success increases when using younger eggs. In Getting Pregnant After 35, Rachel Gurevich writes:
Even though IVF [in-vitro fertiliization] success was less than 10% at age 40 using the mother’s own eggs, women who used an egg donor (from a much younger woman) at age 40 had a success rate of about 45%. That’s an even better rate than women using their own eggs in their early 30s.
Israel’s insurance is surely incentive for people of all ages to make aliyah. So why not women concerned about their fertility?
This process could also help avoid halachic issues surrounding egg donation.
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