Not ready for children yet but concerned about your fertility? At our KNH Fertility Centre we offer egg-freezing. It is a procedure where your eggs are frozen and stored, until the times comes when you wish to use them to try to conceive.
Why freeze your eggs?
There are many reasons why you may want to try and preserve your fertility by freezing your eggs. These include:
Having children later in life: Some women freeze their eggs so they can have children later in life, without worrying that the quality of their eggs has declined due to age.
Medical treatment: Treatments such as chemotherapy, and for certain medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), ovarian cysts and severe endometriosis, can adversely affect your fertility. Women may choose to freeze their eggs before starting treatment.
IVF treatment: We also freeze eggs as an emergency procedure for IVF patients, if there’s a problem obtaining a sperm sample. This ensures the eggs can still be used when the sperm sample is ready.
The egg freezing process
The first phase of the process to freeze and store your eggs is very similar to the standard IVF cycle. Your ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce more eggs than you would naturally. The development of the eggs is carefully monitored and once the eggs have reached maturity, egg collection takes place.
Your eggs are then frozen using an advanced technique called vitrification. This method minimises the formation of ice crystals in your eggs, resulting in high survival rates after thawing. Your eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen until you wish to try to conceive with them. We can store your eggs for up to 10 years in our state-of-the-art laboratory.
Egg freezing: Is it right for you?
If you’re interesting in egg freezing the first thing we need to do is check that you’re suitable. Your age is especially important – egg quality is vital to your chance of future pregnancy, and this generally declines as you get older. So we’ll assess your fertility through comprehensive testing and take into account key factors such as your age, when advising if egg freezing is something you can consider.
We’ll always be open and honest with you about your likely chances of future success, so you can make an informed decision about whether to progress with fertility preservation.
Egg freezing can be an emotional decision and it’s important that you go into the process fully aware and informed about the likely outcome for you. In addition to the expert advice of your fertility specialist, you’ll also be offered counselling with our fertility counsellors.
It’s so we can ensure you’re prepared for all possible outcomes in future and understand what egg freezing really offers.
Using your frozen eggs in treatment
When you decide you wish to use your eggs, your eggs are thawed, analysed and fertilised via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where a single, best quality and healthy sperm is injected directly into the egg. The best quality embryo(s) will be selected for transfer.
The chances of pregnancy are influenced by a number of factors. These include your age, the number of eggs removed, how successfully they survive the freeze-thaw process, how many are fertilised and how many quality embryos are available for transfer.