Data Show More Women Are Freezing Their Eggs During the Pandemic, Defying Doctors’ Expectations

January 14, 2021

(TIME) – When the coronavirus pandemic hit, fertility clinics braced themselves for a downturn. People have been avoiding the doctor’s office since the spring, first because they feared exposure to the virus and later because many people who have been laid off or furloughed cannot afford the medical bills. Fertility treatments are expensive, and the cost of egg freezing ranges from $6,000 to $20,000. (Arenberg’s was $12,000—an especially daunting cost after losing work.) But clinics across the country are reporting an uptick in women freezing their eggs during the pandemic. Though no organization in the U.S. collects national data, 54 clinics across major American cities including Denver, Atlanta and Seattle told TIME that the number of women freezing their eggs has increased year-over-year—an impressive stat considering most of those clinics were forced to shut down and suspend fertility treatments in the early months of the pandemic.