Egg Freezing Treatment

Egg Freezing at a Private Fertility Clinic in London

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What is egg freezing treatment?

If you are concerned about preserving your future fertility, egg freezing also called oocyte cryopreservation is a safe and effective method of safeguarding your ability to have a baby at the right time for you.

We offer free 10-minute consultations to anyone considering egg-freezing treatment with us. It’s the perfect opportunity to ask any questions regarding your egg-freezing journey.

Why do women freeze their eggs?

You might not have found the right partner yet or may be focusing on your career. If you know you aren't ready to have a baby yet but don’t want to worry about your age affecting your ability to have a child when you are ready, egg freezing is a way to preserve future fertility. There are also medical reasons to consider egg freezing. Some medical conditions can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatments can both affect fertility. Conditions such as endometriosis can also have a negative impact on overall fertility.

Egg-freezing success rates

Birth rates from own frozen eggs are increasing at 18% per treatment cycle, according to HFEA data. Live birth rates are affected by various factors, the most significant being the age at the time of collection and the number of eggs frozen. 

The most critical factor that affects the success rates of egg freezing is the age of the women at the time of freezing. That’s because there is a steep decline in female fertility over the age of 35, which impacts both natural conception and IVF success rates. The age of thawing the eggs does not seem to influence the outcome significantly.

What is the best age to freeze your eggs?

Success rates for egg survival after thawing are also affected by age at the time of collection. For those women who have eggs frozen before the age of 36, there is a 95% success rate of survival, which declines to 85% when the eggs are collected after the age of 36. 

Therefore, the likelihood of a successful outcome following egg freezing is based on the age at the time of freezing one’s eggs. Freezing eggs before your early 30s would be the ideal time to have the best chance of a successful outcome in future. When one freezes later in life, the process may be more invasive and expensive due to the natural decline in fertility, as more cycles may be needed to collect the desired number of eggs. 

Bridging the Gap Between Dreams and Parenthood 

Our Medical Director Dr Irfana Koita takes the time to get to know her patients and their specific needs. This personal attention by the physician is the number 1 rule of our clinic. 

Dr Koita is a fellow of the prestigious Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG), has done a Masters in Healthcare Leadership, from Cornell University, USA and had trained in Assisted Conception at Kings College Hospital, London. She has over 18 years of clinical experience and is recognised nationally as an expert in her field. 

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Our Success Stories

"It took me almost three years to decide to do egg freezing and Dr. Koita was encouraging and supporting throughout the process. This is not an easy thing to do and it helps to have another woman as support (this felt really important to me as a female PoC). It was easy to get support and ask questions over text and video calls."

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Why choose IVF Matters

We offer consultant led, personalised one-to-one care both online and in-person to ensure you have a successful outcome.

IVF Matters is a UK wide one-stop fertility diagnostic service with treatments being performed by our consultant at Marylebone in London.

We have no waiting list, and our patients range from those wanting private fertility care on a self-funded basis to those using our unique fertility finance plans to pay in installments.

Egg Vitrification

Process

Advantages and Risks

Egg Collection

FAQs

Egg freezing or oocyte cryopreservation is a method of fertility preservation. As per data published by UK’s fertility regulator The HFEA in Sept 2018, egg freezing cycles are on the rise and currently make up around 1.5% of all fertility treatment cycles carried out across the UK with majority of treatments taking place in London.

The 1st birth from frozen eggs using vitrification was documented in 1999. This was followed by the HFEA permitting egg freezing treatment in the UK from 2000.

How are the frozen eggs used?

When you are ready to have a baby, the eggs will be defrosted by a process called egg thawing. The freezing process hardens the layer surrounding the eggs and hence it is recommended to inject the sperm into the eggs using a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI. The fertilised egg is then observed in the laboratory until the embryo is transferred into the uterine cavity.

"91% of women using frozen eggs in a thaw treatment cycle were registered with a male partner at the time of egg thawing" HFEA.

There are 2 main reasons why women in the UK freeze their eggs:

  • Social – to delay their child bearing whilst they find the right partner (46% of those who freeze their eggs are single), to pursue their career or because they are not ready to have children.
  • Medical – they are having treatment for cancer which is likely to affect their fertility or they have other medical problems like severe endometriosis.

1. Your age at the time of starting treatment

As per the HFEA data, most women who froze their eggs in 2016 were over 35. The commonest age to freeze eggs was 38. However, the most common age women came back for fertility treatment to use their cryopreserved eggs was 40.

“There are many women freezing eggs into their 40s and even 50s. Given the scientific consensus around age-related fertility decline, it is not clear why patients of this age are freezing eggs and we would caution against this being a sensible option for this group of women.” HFEA

When should women be freezing their eggs?

‘Standard’ fresh IVF does not offer a solution to age-related fertility decline because it cannot reverse the egg degeneration that comes with getting older’. This is why the age a woman is when she freezes her eggs is so important. HFEA

In cases over the age of 35, we know there is a steep decline in fertility and this has an impact on both natural conception and IVF success rates. HFEA

The likelihood of a successful outcome following egg freezing is based on the age at the time of freezing one’s eggs. Hence, freezing eggs prior to early 30s would be the ideal time to have the best chance of a successful outcome in future. However, young women are likely to get pregnant spontaneously and are hence, are less likely to use their frozen eggs.

When one freezes later in life, the process may be more invasive and expensive due to the natural decline in fertility as more cycles may be needed to collect the desired number of eggs. The chances of treatment being successful reduces but one is more likely to use the frozen eggs.

2. Cost of treatment – how will you fund your treatment

3. Risks associated with the treatment – it is generally a safe treatment

4. Chances of success – The birth rate from frozen own eggs is 18% per treatment cycle

5. Risk of not using the frozen eggs - There is a chance that one may conceive spontaneously and hence, may not use the frozen eggs in the future

6. Risk to baby and mother - Currently 2000 babies worldwide have been born from cryopreserved eggs but long-term studies on safety for children born from this process are not yet available. Evidence to date, shows no differences between the use of vitrified or fresh eggs in the rates of obstetrical problems in pregnancy. There are no increased risks of chromosomal anomalies or significant physical or developmental deficits in the babies born.

“Egg freezing is emerging as a viable clinical technique to preserve women’s fertility, providing the eggs are frozen at a clinically optimum age, and the patient is aware of the risks and possibility of becoming pregnant naturally. The evidence suggests that if eggs are frozen below the age of 35, the chances of success using these frozen eggs is higher than the natural conception rate as the woman gets older.

The results of our analysis are supported by international evidence which suggests egg freezing is a successful and cost-effective method of preserving fertility.” HFEA

Egg collection is a relatively non-invasive procedure and carries minimal risks. But as with any medical procedure, there may be side effects, which are typically minor and temporary. 

Possible side effects or risks from the medication can include:

  • Hormonal fluctuations leading to bloating 
  • Bruising, soreness or redness in the injection site

Post-procedure side effects from the egg collection can include:

  • Grogginess (which should abate within 24 hours)
  • Abdominal cramping or vaginal soreness
  • Vaginal bleeding - this settles in a few days
  • A slight risk of infection — antibiotics are typically given during the procedure to minimise this risk
  • Irregular periods (which should resolve on their own within a few cycles)

More serious risks of the egg collection procedure are extremely low. 

  • The risk of injury to internal organs such as the bladder, blood vessels and bowel is very low. Usually, no further action is needed as it is only a needle stick injury.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a complication that sometimes affects young women with very active ovaries. This condition is characterised by swollen ovaries and fluid retention in the abdomen leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. In rare cases, this requires bed rest and monitoring, and in the most severe cases, treatment requires hospitalisation. 

It is possible to freeze eggs on the NHS if you need to undergo medical treatment that will affect your fertility, for example, chemotherapy or radiation treatment. 

If you would like to freeze your eggs for social reasons (because you want to delay having a child for your own reasons), doing the egg-freezing treatment on the NHS is not possible. 

For this reason, 90% of cycles in the UK are self-funded.

Please refer to our Treatment Prices section for further information.

Your next steps

We know that freezing your eggs can seem like a daunting process, and you may not know where to start - but we're here to support you every step of the way.

Schedule an informal 10-minute video call with our director and fertility specialist Dr Irfana Koita. This advisory call is free of charge and there is no commitment.

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