Women can preserve their fertility:
- Before cancer and other treatments that might impact fertility. Eggs, embryos and ovarian tissue can be frozen for people who face losing their fertility because of cancer treatment or another reason.
- Or if they think their fertility may decline before they are ready to have children
Eggs can be frozen by women who have not yet found a partner and/or are concerned that their fertility will decline before they are ready to have a baby.
Egg freezing involves all the steps of an IVF cycle, up to the egg collection. Eggs are then frozen, usually by a method called vitrification. When the woman wants to use the eggs, they will then be thawed, and she will resume the second half of an IVF cycle– adding sperm to the eggs, embryo transfer, and freezing any spare embryos.
If you are freezing eggs or embryos, then you will need to have a doctor at Fertility Associates look after you during treatment.
Access to publicly funded fertility preservation for the retrieval, freezing and long term storage of eggs is available for women whose fertility will be permanently impaired by publicly funded treatment for medical conditions, such as by cancer treatment.
If a woman has a partner, it is better to freeze embryos than eggs. Embryo freezing has been around longer than egg freezing and clinics have a lot more experience with embryo freezing as it is part of routine IVF treatment.
Ovarian tissue freezing
This technique involves removing one or both ovaries surgically and freezing thin slices of ovarian tissue. The slices are transplanted back to the women once cancer treatment has finished.
Most people facing fertility preservation won’t have enough time to make changes to lifestyle or to follow the tips for becoming ‘fertility fit’ If you do have time before egg freezing, the key messages are:
- stop smoking
- take folic acid
- reduce caffeine and alcohol
- discuss medications with your doctor
Seeing a counsellor
Our counsellors are here when you want to explore issues arising from storing sperm, eggs, or embryos, and when you need support.
- Before treatment: Access to publicly funded fertility preservation for the retrieval, freezing and long term storage of eggs is available for people whose fertility will be permanently impaired by publicly funded treatment for medical conditions, such as by cancer treatment. Most of the usual rules for eligibility for publicly funded IVF treatment apply.
- Egg freezing for social reasons and ovarian tissue storage needs to be privately funded, these prices can be found on our treatment fee sheet.
Good to know:
- Storage time limit: 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. More info here
- Consent: You will need to sign a consent form as part of banking sperm, eggs or embryos.
- Keep you contact details up to date with the clinic: We will try to contact you each year to see if you still want to store your sperm, eggs or embryos. We may discard material if you become behind in paying storage fees, or we can’t contact you after 2 years. Update your contact details here.