Egg freezing is one of the fastest growing fertility trends, and the London Women’s Clinic are at the forefront of this technology. In the last 5 years, the clinic has frozen over 5,000 eggs from 500 women and have established excellent results in both the vitrification and thawing of eggs.
Why freeze eggs?
Currently, there are three main reasons why egg freezing may be used for fertility preservation:
- To offset concerns about age-related fertility and fertility decline (“social” egg freezing)
- To preserve fertility ahead of other treatments which may affect the ovaries and fertility (such as chemotherapy)
- For gender re-assignment surgery
It is for the first reason – referred to as 'elective' egg freezing for "social" reasons – that we are seeing the most significant increase. In such cases, egg freezing enables a woman who does not currently wish to have a baby, but may do at some time in the future, to preserve her current rates of fertility. For example, a 35-year-old who freezes her eggs and uses them when she is 39, will be attempting conception with the eggs of a 35-year-old, and will thus be giving herself a better chance of pregnancy.
The first step would be to consider a Fertility MOT to find out if eggs are likely to be suitable for freezing. This includes an Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) blood test, a pelvic ultrasound scan and a consultation with a fertility specialist. The results of these tests alongside your medical history will allow a fertility specialist to advise on your current fertility and to help you make decisions about future treatments including egg freezing.
How it works
The egg freezing treatment process begins very similarly to IVF - a course of injections to stimulate the ovaries so several eggs can be collected, followed by the egg collection procedure. The collected eggs are then fast-frozen using a technique called vitrification, which very quickly transforms them to a glass-like state ('vitrifies'). Anyone considering egg freezing should be aware of the ten year storage limit set by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
If and when you decide to attempt a pregnancy using your frozen eggs in the future, they will be thawed and fertilised in the laboratory, with the resulting embryo placed into the uterus.
Egg freezing is still a relatively new procedure and the number of women coming back to thaw their frozen eggs is small. Success rates for these women are good, although success - as in IVF - depends on the woman’s age and the quality of the thawed eggs.
The cost of egg freezing
The London Women’s Clinic provides the option of either a single egg freezing cycle or a three-cycle package at a reduced cost. Following a Fertility MOT, a fertility specialist will recommend the best course of action for you and advise on whether one or three cycles of freezing is required. This will be dependent on your results and medical history. As well as the freezing process itself, medication and future storage is also chargeable. For more information on the price of egg freezing, please visit our prices page or contact the clinic.