Egg freezing is one of the fastest growing area of fertility services which allows women to preserve their fertility. At The Sussex Downs Fertility Centre we can support you to extend or preserve your fertility period through egg freezing. Babies born through the freeze-thaw process are healthy, and success rates are high.
Why Would I Freeze My Eggs?
Women freeze their eggs for numerous medical and social reasons. If you would like to delay parenthood to focus on other areas of your life, it’s an excellent option. It’s also recommended for women undergoing certain cancer treatments that may affect fertility.
Patients may choose to freeze their eggs:
- Because of their 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
To begin the process, you would need to come to The Sussex Downs Fertility Centre for a Women’s 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 Does Egg Freezing Work?
The egg freezing treatment process begins with 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. 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 depends on the woman’s age and the quality of the thawed eggs.
Egg Freezing vs. Embryo Freezing
Freezing embryos rather than unfertilized eggs improves the chances of a successful pregnancy. Embryos have been frozen for longer than unfertilised eggs, and the procedure has been improved over a longer period; the success rate for unfertilised frozen eggs is around half of the success rate for frozen embryos. However, these rates continue to improve as new techniques are discovered.