Top 10 Questions About Egg Freezing Answered

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Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is a process where a woman's eggs are extracted, frozen, and stored to preserve their future reproductive potential. Egg freezing is a widespread  procedure with over 4,000 women in the UK freezing their eggs in 2021.

Here are the top 10 questions people often have about egg freezing:

1. What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is the process of extracting a woman's eggs (oocytes) from her ovaries, freezing them unfertilised, and storing them for potential future reproductive use. This allows women to delay pregnancy until they are ready or until the circumstances are more favourable.

2. Should I freeze my eggs? 

Any woman can freeze her eggs, however its most suitable for women who want to delay childbearing for personal or professional reasons, those undergoing medical treatments (like chemotherapy) that might affect fertility, and women with a family history of early menopause. 

3. At what age should I consider freezing my eggs?

The best time to freeze eggs is in your late 20s to early 30s, when egg quality and quantity are at their peak. However, women up to their late 30s can still benefit, though success rates may be lower, learn more here.

4. How does the egg freezing process work?

The process involves hormonal stimulation of the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, the retrieval of the eggs through a minor surgical procedure, and then freezing the eggs using a technique called vitrification learn more here.

5. How can I improve my egg health?

There are many ways you can improve egg quality, involving changes to lifestyle, diet, and overall health management, for more details read here.  

6. What are the success rates of egg freezing?

The number of successful eggs is dependant upon several factors, including the individual, their lifestyle and age. For exmaple, younger eggs tend to have higher success rates.

 7. What are the risks and side effects of egg freezing?

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (an overproduction of eggs in response to the hormone medication) is a very rare complication of egg freezing which could lead to the development of pain, feeling sick and shortness of breath.

Additionally, the egg retrieval procedure can cause bleeding and potential infection, whilst the general side effects can include bloating, cramping, and mood swings.

8. How long can eggs be frozen and still be viable?

Eggs can be frozen indefinitely, with successful pregnancies reported from eggs frozen for over a decade. However, the overall viability might decrease with extended storage times.

9. What is the cost of egg freezing?

The total cost for one cycle of egg freezing in the UK generally falls between £3,700 and £7,500. Additional cycles may increase the overall cost, however this is dependant upon the individual or couples needs. 

10. What happens when I'm ready to use my frozen eggs?

When ready to use the eggs, they are thawed and fertilised with sperm to create embryos, which are then transferred to the uterus via In-vitro Fertilization (IVF). The process includes hormone treatments to prepare the uterine lining for implantation.





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