Egg Freezing and Storage
Egg freezing is a method of fertility preservation for use in a female’s future fertility treatment. Some women wish to freeze their eggs for medical reasons, for example if they are diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses or are at risk of early menopause. Other women wish to freeze their eggs to give them a greater chance of conceiving at an older age. This is sometimes termed ‘social egg freezing’.
At The Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health (CRGH) we have been freezing eggs since 2009 with excellent success rates. The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) has recognised CRGH as having the highest number of live births as a result of egg freezing treatment in the UK. Our most current data reveals even higher success rates.
A recent approach used at CRGH, referred to as ultra-rapid freezing or ‘vitrification’, has proven to minimise the risk of damage to the egg which was a frequent problem in the early years of egg freezing. With the advent of ICSI it is now possible to achieve similar fertilisation rates with fresh and frozen eggs.
The egg freezing procedure involves administering injections to stimulate the ovaries for around 12 days. Patients will typically give themselves injections of these drugs for 10-12 days and make visits to the clinic during this period for both blood work and scans to ensure that the drugs are working properly. We will adjust medication levels as required.
Following this, the eggs are collected under sedation. This procedure is done in theatre and takes 20-30 minutes. You will require a recovery period of a few hours in the clinic before going home. Typically, we expect that you will get your period within 10-14 days of the procedure.
Is egg freezing right for me?
Though CRGH cannot make this decision for you, we can give you as much information as possible so that you can make an informed choice. Although egg freezing may assist you in having a baby in the future, it is not a guarantee and parenthood should not be delayed if possible in reliance on this. We recommend egg freezing to those that have been diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer in which the treatment may affect fertility, or for women who have a family history of early menopause. However, we also offer egg freezing for social reasons.
What are the risks of egg freezing?
The egg collection is a relatively non-invasive procedure that carries minimal risk.
Stimulation of the ovaries has been associated with a low risk complication referred to as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. However, CRGH have adopted a novel stimulation regime that has drastically reduced the chances of triggering ovarian hyperstimulation.
Please contact one of our doctors for further information.
What are my chances of having a baby with my frozen eggs?
We have had great success rates with frozen eggs at CRGH, and you can view our success rates. The survival rate for frozen eggs was 77.5% in 2016.
If you are considering freezing your eggs, please contact a member of our team for further information. You can also download our Egg Freezing Information Leaflet by clicking on the link below
- Fertility preservation: how and why
- A look at social reasons for fertility preservation
- Technology of freezing eggs
- The process of freezing sperm, eggs, and embryos
- What’s the impact of freezing eggs?
- Read more from our blog
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