Protecting your fertility

Our ovaries are like a diamond mine—full of precious and limited eggs.

“A lot of people assume they’re fertile forever, but that’s not true,” says Dr. Angeline Beltsos of the Fertility Clinics of Illinois.

Vitrification is an option for women who want to keep their eggs from aging. It also keeps harvested eggs safe from harmful treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. A successful vitrification procedure, including the use of the eggs later, usually costs about $10,000.

Beltsos’ tips to help women protect their fertility:

n Don’t smoke. Nicotine can damage the quality of the eggs.

n Maintain an ideal body weight. A woman with too much body weight produces too much estrogen and an underweight woman not enough.

n Safe sex. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infertility and scar tissue.

n Talk to your doctor. Many women don’t plan to have children until later, but aren’t certain what that means for their fertility. A visit with a reproductive endocrinologist can help you know your body better.

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