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Facebook, Apple: 'We'll Pay to Freeze Your Eggs'

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., listens during the e-G8 Internet Forum in Paris, France, on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. The Internet needs government involvement to reach its full potential of linking people and boosting economic growth, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said. Photographer: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's no secret that freezing your eggs is some pretty pricey business; believe it or not, undergoing a typical cycle will run you a cool $10,000. (And that doesn't even count the $500 you'll have to shell out for storing it.) But with more and more women entering motherhood later in life—and all those frightening stats about eggs dying off at alarming rates post-30—going the egg-freezing route sure does sound a lot more attractive as the years tick by.

Well, ladies, Facebook and Apple are hearing you loud and clear. While Facebook has been covering the procedure, which costs up to $20,000, under their insurance benefits since January, Apple has just announced that it too will be joining those ranks at the start of 2015. So far, the tech giants are the only major employers to offer up such perks for non-medical reasons.

Considering the fact that Silicon Valley—and the staff roster of Apple and Facebook in particular—is largely dominated by men at the moment, these new egg-freezing perks are no-doubt a means to attract more tech-savvy women into the company ranks. But as fertility expert Dr. Elizabeth Fino notes, egg freezing isn't just increasingly popular for career-minded women who are opting to delay motherhood while they establish high-powered roles. In fact, there are just as many women out there who are opting to freeze their eggs for one simple, yet all-too-common reason—they haven't yet found a partner to start a family with.

Perhaps as a result, doctors have reported a surge in demand for egg freezing over the last two years, according to NBC. Much of this is also due to the fact that in 2012, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine also lifted the "experimental" label from the procedure.

"Over last several years, it's become very popular," said Dr. Fino, a professor at the NYU Langone Fertility Center. She added that about a third of her own patients opt to freeze their eggs (which is otherwise known as "fertility preservation").

Aside from its priciness, Fino notes that the success rates of egg freezing, while getting better, are still not where doctors would like them to be. In fact, the probability of one cycle of frozen eggs resulting in a pregnancy is only about 40 to 50 percent for women under 35.

As for the best time to freeze your eggs? According to doctors, the younger the better. Freezing a batch in your 20s and 30s is most ideal, say fertility docs, since younger eggs have a better chance of holding up during the freezing process.

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