Egg Freezing

Fertility Preservation

Egg Freezing

Oocyte vitrification or egg freezing is the process by which mature eggs or oocytes are collected from a woman’s ovaries and frozen for future use to try for a pregnancy.

What is involved?

In an egg freezing cycle, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Developing follicles, which contain the eggs, can be seen and monitored using ultrasound scan. When they are large enough, the eggs are removed from the ovary by a minor surgical procedure. The eggs are frozen by a process known as vitrification i.e. rapid freezing in liquid nitrogen.

When a woman subsequently wishes to use her eggs, they are warmed (thawed) and fertilized using ICSI, a type of IVF. If embryos develop, they are transferred, one or two at a time, to the woman’s uterus.


What are the success rates of egg freezing?

The chance of having a baby under any circumstance is influenced by a number of factors, including female age, previous pregnancy & births, duration of infertility (if applicable), fertility diagnosis, male fertility factors, the stage & quality of embryos transferred and the type of treatment used. These issues are also critical in determining the likely success of egg freezing.

Success rates of egg freezing are improving all the time but they are still not as good as natural conception and also generally less than the success rates of IVF/ICSI using fresh eggs.

While we recommend egg freezing for those who are not in a position to try to conceive, it is important to note that natural attempts at pregnancy, followed by IVF/ICSI using fresh eggs if natural attempts fail, are still superior to egg freezing.

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