Freezing one’s own eggs for possible future use is often referred to as “social freezing”. This gives you the opportunity to potentially preserve your fertility, thus increasing the likelihood of succeeding in having your own children in the future when you are ready for it. At Medicus, we can retrieve your eggs, and freeze and store them safely until you are ready to use them.
Why freeze my eggs?
To maximize the chance of having a baby after egg freezing, you may need to go through a series of stimulation cycles to collect a good number of eggs. However, it is important to remember that no number of eggs can guarantee a live birth, as other factors such as egg quality are also relevant. Egg freezing should therefore never be seen as a definitive alternative to natural conception
We provide advice based on scientific tools around exactly how many eggs you need to freeze to find an acceptable cost/benefit situation. Studies based on in vitro fertilization show that if you have 20 eggs, you will have the following probability of succeeding in having a child:
- 35 years or younger, 80-90%
- 37-38 years, 60-70%
- 42 years, 37% (60 eggs, 75%)
How many egg retriveals you will need to reach 20 eggs will depend on how many eggs you have. Some will get it on one egg retrieval, others will need more.
How is the process of freezing my eggs?
To stimulate the ovaries to produce more follicles, you will receive hormone injections over a period of 2 weeks.
2. MONITOR THE RESPONSE
We use ultrasound scans to monitor the number of follicles and their growth. It will also help us plan the retrieval of the eggs.
3. OVULATION SYRINGE
When the follicles are the right size, an ovulation syringe is injected to mature the eggs in preparation for egg retrieval.
4. EGG COLLECTION (OPU)
The eggs are retrived with a minor vaginal procedure using ultrasound.
5. EGG FREEZING
After collection, all mature eggs are quickly frozen using modern methods and placed in a tank with liquid nitrogen.
6. FUTURE USE / FERTILIZATION
When the eggs are to be used, they are thawed and injected with a single sperm using ICSI. They are then cultured for 5 days into so-called blastocysts. A blastocyst is then put back. Any remaining blastocysts of good quality can be frozen again until later insertion in case of failed first attempt or at the request of siblings.
What is the success rate of frozen and thawed eggs?
International data indicate that using frozen eggs to achieve pregnancy is as effective as using fresh eggs. Further research has also shown encouraging results with no increased risk of ongoing pregnancy risks or birth defects. Advances in the field of cryopreservation have led to a better survival rate for the eggs, and there is a current consensus on an expected survival rate of at least 70% of the eggs, often up to 80-90%.
No number of frozen eggs can guarantee children, but it gives you an opportunity and an increased probability of a possible successful treatment when you are ready for it.