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Take charge of your fertility

Egg freezing provides a unique opportunity to prolong your current fertility and enhance your options if you choose to start a family in the future. Over the past decade egg freezing has become a more popular and reliable treatment option and has reached a stage where success rates for fertility treatment using frozen eggs are comparable with those using fresh eggs.

Why should I freeze my eggs?

Egg freezing is a frequently used method of fertility preservation.
There are several reasons why you may consider freezing your eggs.

Circumstances

Your current life circumstances may not be ideal for you to start a family, you may not have found your ideal partner, you may be pursuing a career or you are not sure whether or not you will want children. Egg freezing means that you can postpone pregnancy but still have the knowledge that you have more healthy eggs available to you in the future.

Your age

If you are concerned about the fall in your egg reserve and egg quality with age, then egg freezing offers you the option to retain the current healthy status of your eggs for future use. When you decide to use the eggs at a later juncture, the likelihood of pregnancy will be nearly the same as at the time you chose to freeze your eggs.

Medical diagnosis

Some diseases or their treatment, for example, cancers being treated by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can destroy your eggs or adversely affect your fertility. In this situation, freezing your eggs offers you the peace of mind that you could still potentially have children at a later date.

Gender affirmation

If you are considering transitioning from biologically female to male, it's worth noting hormone treatments and reconstructive operations can lead to either partial or complete fertility loss. Egg freezing before you embark on this journey offers you the option of using your own eggs to start a family in the future.

When should I freeze my eggs?

To maximise your chances of a successful pregnancy using your frozen eggs, the optimum time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s to early 30s, as this is when your egg quality and quantity are at their best.

With age, both the genetic health of your eggs and the quantity of remaining eggs decline. It is still absolutely possible to freeze your eggs when you are over the age of 35, however studies have found that pregnancy rates are lower using eggs that are frozen from those over 35 years of age. It is important to remember that your fertility level is completely unique. Your consultant will be able to advise you on whether egg freezing is a suitable option for you.

30 YRS OLD

High ovarian reserve and a high proportion of genetically normal eggs
Strong chance of women to conceive each month

40 YRS OLD

Fewer eggs and is less likely to have genetically normal eggs
More difficult for women to become pregnant

At birth, the ovaries contain a finite number of eggs which are gradually used up with each cycle and so, over time, the number of eggs potentially available to create an embryo, i.e. the ovarian reserve, decreases. Having a higher egg quantity leads to more eggs available for storage and potentially less rounds of ovarian stimulation required.

Egg quality is the proportion of genetically healthy eggs you have. Better egg quality leads to a greater chance of pregnancy. In general, the younger you are the more genetically healthy eggs available.

Egg freezing success

The most important measurement of success after egg freezing is your chance of pregnancy in the future. However, the success of egg freezing can be defined in several ways.

  • Quality and quantity of eggs frozen
  • Survival rates of eggs post thawing
  • Expected number of embryos available for transfer
  • Live birth per embryo transferred
  • Cumulative live birth rate

We understand that success rates are highly important when choosing a fertility clinic. London Women’s Clinic is proud to be able to offer industry-leading success rates within the UK for the egg freezing and thawing process, and for the number of live births achieved from the use of frozen eggs. Find out more detailed information about our egg freezing success rates.

View success rates

The egg freezing process

Fertility MOT is an essential step in your egg freezing journey. The pelvic ultrasound scan and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) blood test, provide a greater understanding of your current ovarian reserve and fertility status.

During your consultation, your doctor or specialist nurse will review your medical history and the results of your MOT assessments. They will then discuss treatment options and confirm if egg freezing is suitable for you. 

You will meet with your dedicated treatment coordinator who will confirm your personalised treatment plan, ensuring all the relevant requirements are in place to start. Your treatment coordinator will be on hand to guide you through your egg freezing journey.

Your nurse will explain your medications and how to administer them, as well as answer any questions you may have about your treatment. 

You will start taking hormonal medication to stimulate your ovaries. Regular ultrasound scans will be conducted to monitor follicle development and confirm when you are ready for your egg collection. For most patients treatment commences from the first day of a period; each cycle then takes approximately 14 days.

The egg collection itself is a straightforward procedure, taking up to 30 minutes under light sedation. During the egg collection, a highly skilled doctor will use ultrasound guidance to collect eggs from the follicles in your ovaries.

Our embryologists will carefully freeze your eggs using a technique called vitrification. The frozen eggs will be stored in liquid nitrogen until you decide you are ready to use them.

The follow up consultation with your doctor will review how successful your egg freezing cycle has been and provides an opportunity to discuss any further treatment you may wish to have.

YOU DO YOU

 

Why London Women's Clinic?

Our personally tailored boutique service brings together world-class egg freezing expertise and cutting-edge technology to provide individuals with the best possible care and some of the highest success rates in the fertility field.

Our fertility specialists have over 20 years of experience in fertility treatment and preservation and are dedicated in providing you with the highest level of care. Our doctors have trained across the world to become experts in their field and bring together their knowledge to provide you with the best care.

Meet the Team

London Women’s Clinic has the first and only dedicated egg bank within the UK, and has been freezing eggs for more than two decades. Our pioneering work on vitrification methods has contributed to their routine application in fertility clinics.

Our laboratory has frozen and thawed more eggs than any other clinic in the UK and was a pioneering clinic in bringing the technique of vitrification into everyday use. Thanks to our large donor egg bank these numbers continue to increase, and our laboratory team have become highly experienced and skilled in handling frozen eggs, leading to our superior success rates.

At London Women’s Clinic, you are our priority. Our boutique egg-freezing experience is tailored to meet your individual needs, a process facilitated by your personal treatment coordinator, who will guide you through the entire journey.

OVA News

Read our blogs about the egg freezing revolution Jennifer Aniston wishes she knew about sooner and discover Priyanka Chopra Jonas' egg freezing and surrogacy journey to parenthood!

Egg freezing costs

We offer a selection of packages and financing options designed to enable you to choose your most suitable treatment.

What comes after egg freezing?

If you decide to use your frozen eggs you will need to undergo a thaw and fertilise cycle using intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Before going ahead with a thaw cycle, you will have a consultation with one of our doctors who will confirm the details of your treatment plan, including how many of your frozen eggs to thaw.

London Women’s Clinic has outstanding post egg thaw survival rates, so you can be reassured that your eggs are safe with us 

Due to recent changes in UK legislation, frozen eggs can now be kept in storage for up to 55 years. However, you will need to review your consent for storage every 10 years to confirm if you want to continue with storing your eggs. At London Women’s Clinic you can pay for your storage costs via a monthly direct debit making the management of your egg storage as easy as possible.

If you decide that you no longer want to keep your frozen eggs you can opt to discard them. Some will choose to do this after completing their family naturally. Alternatively, you may also have the opportunity of donating these eggs, either for use in treatment by others, or for research and training. Your treatment coordinator will be able to provide you with more information on donation to research and training if you choose to pursue this. 

Egg freezing FAQs

The number of egg freezing cycles needed will depend on your individual level of fertility. In general, younger women have a higher ovarian reserve and a greater proportion of genetically healthy eggs, and therefore more viable eggs will be collected per cycle, requiring fewer cycles.

Most women will reach their desired number of eggs to freeze in 1 – 3 treatment cycles. As part of your MOT and consultation, your doctor will be able to advise you on how many eggs they would expect you to freeze.

It is possible to undertake back-to-back egg freezing cycles, and restart immediately after the end of the previous cycle. Our experts will advise you on whether this timescale would be appropriate for you, and also assess how your body responded to the hormone injections from the previous cycle’s treatment. The majority of patients choose to have a month’s break between each egg freezing process.

No, if you are taking hormonal contraception, including the oral contraceptive pill, Mirena coil, or implant these will need to be stopped or removed ahead of treatment. However, it is possible to have your MOT whilst on hormonal birth control.

Non-hormonal contraception, such as the copper coil can remain in place throughout your treatment.

If you have any concerns, these can be discussed during your initial consultation.

It is important to use alternative contraceptive methods during the egg freezing cycle. Not all the eggs produced may be harvested during the egg collection period, which could increase the chances of becoming pregnant if you have unprotected sex during this time.

No, your fertility will be unaffected by the egg freezing process. Normally, during your natural cycle, your ovaries have multiple developing eggs available, but only one reaches full maturity. The hormone treatment during egg freezing simply enables the remaining eggs from that month to mature and to be collected. This process does not affect the number of eggs that are available to be recruited in your future natural cycles, and so your fertility remains unchanged.

The technique used to freeze the eggs is called vitrification, during which the eggs undergo rapid ‘flash freezing’ to a temperature of -196˚C to become ‘glass-like’ or ‘vitrified’. The speed of the process avoids the formation of ice crystals within the egg, thus preserving its structure. Egg freezing at the London Women’s Clinic is carried out following an extremely strict protocol. We have an egg survival rate of > 90%, which is the best in the UK. When the eggs are thawed and fertilised, there is an equivalent likelihood of pregnancy to when fresh eggs are utilised.

Evidence suggests that frozen eggs can be stored indefinitely without any loss of health or viability. However, in the United Kingdom, the law permits a maximum storage period of 55 years for both frozen eggs and frozen embryos. You will need to give consent for the ongoing storage of your eggs every 10 years, should you still wish to preserve them. It is therefore important that the clinic has your up to date contact details.

Egg freezing is a minimally invasive procedure. However, in common with any medical intervention, it is associated with a low incidence of possible risks. The main risk is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which occurs in 1 in 100 women undergoing fertility treatment, although it is uncommon in women only undergoing egg freezing cycles.

Symptoms of OHSS include abdominal pain, bloating and sometimes nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. These typically resolve when your next period starts.

We make your safety our priority and all treatments are closely monitored in order to reduce the risk of OHSS using frequent ultrasound scans and blood tests. Treatment is tailored to each individual and may include changing the dosing regimen of the ovarian stimulation drugs, using an alternative trigger injection or adding further medications once your eggs have been collected.

You may have a condition which you are already aware of or which may come to light during your Fertility MOT which could influence the outcome of egg freezing, e.g. low anti-Mullerian hormone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome or the presence of uterine fibroids. Although it is still possible to freeze your eggs, no two people are the same, and so our specialist team will discuss your individual circumstances with you, and the different factors which may influence the potential outcome in your particular situation.

Your Treatment Coordinator will advise you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and intensive exercise during stimulation.

Injections of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are given for 8-11 days, starting at the beginning of your cycle. FSH stimulates the ovaries to develop several follicles, and so multiple eggs can be obtained during a single cycle. Once your ultrasound scan confirms the presence of sufficient mature follicles, a trigger injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) will be given 36 hours before your scheduled egg collection procedure. This matures the eggs so that they are ready for harvesting.

Some patients experience mild discomfort when injecting the medication. However, the needles are extremely thin and the hormones are injected into the fatty tissue around your middle. Side effects from the hormones can occur, which are similar to symptoms experienced during a period, for example, feeling bloated and some cramping.

The ultrasound scans are performed by inserting the probe into the vagina, as this offers the best picture quality. These may be slightly uncomfortable.

The egg retrieval procedure is normally performed under sedation and so you will not feel any discomfort. Once you wake up, you may feel a little sore and experience some abdominal cramping.

We advise you to rest for the remainder of the day following your egg retrieval procedure. Most clients are able to return to their normal activities the following day.

You may have a condition which you are already aware of or which may come to light during your Fertility MOT which could influence the outcome of egg freezing, e.g. low anti-Mullerian hormone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome or the presence of uterine fibroids. Although it is still possible to freeze your eggs, no two people are the same, and so our specialist team will discuss your individual circumstances with you, and the different factors which may influence the potential outcome in your particular situation.

Egg freezing is only offered by the NHS if it is required for medical reasons, e.g. in patients who have an illness or who require treatment that will affect their fertility, e.g. chemotherapy for cancer. Further information on the NHS services provided in your region can be obtained by contacting your local clinical commissioning group or your general practitioner.

The London Women’s Clinic can provide specialist services for egg freezing, storage and fertility treatment. However, if you wish to relocate your frozen eggs to another facility, then our specialist transport team will guide you through every stage of the process and make it as straightforward as possible. Frozen eggs, embryos and sperm can be transported either in or out of the United Kingdom.

London Women’s Clinic is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), and undergoes inspections every two years in order to ensure that we offer high quality care and meet the standards set out in their legislation.

The Egg Freezing Team

Dr Sarah Mourik

Professor Nick Macklon

Mimi Arian Schad

Dr Tatiana Vasquez

Trina Shah

Egle Kancleryte

Georgina Murphy

Roxana Grigoras

Ellen Travers

Yong Xue Mei (Wendy)

Andreea Niculae

Rachel Forsyth

Zavinta Karsokaite

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