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Egg freezing

Want to have a family of your own, but maybe not just yet? Egg freezing may be the answer for you.

Helpful tools
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What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing involves all the steps of an IVF cycle up to and including egg collection. Eggs are then frozen by a method called vitrification. When the eggs are required they will be thawed, and the woman resumes the second half of an IVF cycle: adding sperm to the eggs, embryo transfer, and freezing any spare embryos.

Who freezes their eggs?

  • women aged from mid 20's through to early 40's
  • single women who have not met the right person just yet or
  • women in relationships, where maybe they are not ready

We have egg freezing packages that include medication - so you know what the price is before you start. Check out our fees page here.

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Egg freezing: all you need to know

Hosted by Dr Simon Kelly

Dr Simon Kelly tells you all about egg freezing...

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How can I freeze my eggs?

When the eggs are to be used at a later date, they will be thawed, the woman will resume the second half of an IVF cycle: adding sperm to the eggs, embryo transfer, and freezing any spare embryos.

  • you might really want to have a baby, but you don't have Mr Right yet and don't want to leave things to chance
  • you might be concerned that your fertility is in decline, but you're not ready to have children quite yet
  • you might need to preserve your fertility before cancer treatment or other treatments that might impact your fertility
  • you might be starting gender-affirming hormone treatment (GAHT), but want to keep your options open.

Here, we take you through some options so you can find out what might be right for you...

When is the right time?

The right time to try to have a baby depends on your unique circumstances - it's an incredibly personal decision. You may be single, with a partner, or in a LGBTQI+ relationship. If you're not in a position to try for a baby now, egg freezing may be an option to help preserve your fertility.

It's easy to take the first step

To get started, we recommend you make an appointment to talk with a fertility specialist. At this consultation, the specialist will explain options and help you form an initial plan. He or she will also arrange some initial screening tests to assess your fertility.

If you'd like an informal chat to explore your options, book a free, no obligation chat with one of our experienced fertility nurses.

We have egg freezing packages that include medication - so you know what the price is before you start. Check out our fees page here.

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Egg freezing FAQs

When is the right time?

The right time to try to have a baby depends on your unique circumstances. It's an incredibly personal decision. You may be single, married, or in a LGBTQI+ relationship. If you're not in a position to try for a baby now, egg freezing may be an option to help preserve your fertility.

Are there any legal implications of egg freezing?

The Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act limits storage of sperm, eggs or embryos to a maximum of ten years initially. The clinic can help you apply to the ethics committee if you want to extend storage before you reach the ten year limit. You can’t use sperm, eggs or embryos after a person’s death unless the person has made it clear in their consent form they want this to happen. You can choose to leave sperm or eggs to your partner for them to use, your partner can’t donate them to another person.

Are there any risks?

Frozen sperm and embryos are stored in thin plastic straws immersed in liquid nitrogen.

Cross-contamination of straws by viruses such as Hepatitis or HIV is a theoretical risk although it has never been reported. As a precaution we store sperm for men positive to Hepatitis B or C or to HIV in a separate bank. There is a very small risk that a liquid nitrogen bank will fail, causing the sperm, eggs or embryos stored in it to perish. Bank failure has been reported occasionally around the world. Straws containing sperm, eggs or embryos may be handled while stored for various reasons, such as when retiring a bank or moving samples to a different bank location.
There is a very small risk that handling could sometimes reduce the viability of frozen samples despite the care taken. Loss of samples during handling and moving has also been reported. We take reasonable precautions but cannot be held responsible for the loss of sperm, eggs or embryos from bank failure.

What are the chances of conception using stored sperm, eggs or embryos?

If you have frozen sperm, the type of treatment to use depends on the number and quality of the sperm stored. IVF and IUI pregnancy rates are the same using frozen sperm and fresh sperm. If you have embryos frozen, the chance of pregnancy is similar to that from using fresh embryos. About 95% of embryos survive freezing and thawing. Eggs are more prone to damage from freezing and thawing than embryos, and there is more variation in egg survival between individual women than there is for embryo survival. 

For some women 90% or more of their eggs survive, while for others the rate may be closer to 50-70%. If an egg survives,
then most people have normal embryo development, but for a few embryos' development may be poor. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict this. The most important factors influencing the chance of having a child is your age when the eggs were frozen and the number of eggs or embryos available. Fertility Associates has a discounted fee for women who want to do a second or third egg freezing cycle.

Several experts have calculated the chance based on the number of eggs stored and the age of the women when she stored her eggs – an example is shown in Figure 11, using data from a scientific publication by Doyle and coauthors in the journal Fertility & Sterility. For instance, a 36-year-old woman who has 8 eggs frozen is calculated to have a 45% chance of having a child using these frozen eggs.

Ready to start your fertility journey?

Book a free 15 minute phone consultation with one of our expert fertility nurses.

Book now

The Biological Clock

This tool indicates:

  • Natural conception per month if you have no fertility issues
  • IVF success rate at the same age
  • When to seek help after months of unsuccessful attempts

If you are concerned at any stage – we recommend booking a doctor appointment or a free nurse consultation. The sooner you make a plan the better your chances in the long term.

When to seek advice early

  • If you have polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, or have been through a cancer diagnosis; we recommend you get in touch quickly so we can talk you through all your options and give you the greatest possible chance of success.
  • If you’re a single woman considering motherhood in the future; it’s best to approach us early and consider egg freezing as this can be an option for you while you have a higher ovarian reserve and healthier eggs.
Set your age and the months you’ve been trying to conceive
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Your chance of having a baby per month for fertile couples
Your chance of having a baby per IVF cycle (if experiencing infertility)

Body Mass Index calculator

Being overweight or underweight can reduce fertility, so it is important to keep your body weight within the normal healthy range.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indication of your body weight and can be calculated by dividing weight by height. You should aim for a BMI of between 20 and 25, as this will optimise your chances of conception.

Woman’s BMI below 19

Even in these modern times, nature knows best. If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

Being underweight

If a woman's BMI falls below 19, the body senses famine and ovulation is switched off to prevent the risk of having a baby with malnutrition. Excessive exercise can reduce body fat and increase muscle mass to a point where periods cease for the same reason. Risk of miscarriage is also increased in women with a low BMI.

BMI’s greater than 30

This can reduce fertility by 50%. Pregnancy for women with a 30+ BMI is often associated with problems such as maternal diabetes, high blood pressure, big babies and increased risk of caesarean section.

Add your height and weight to calculate your BMI