Health & Lifestyle

I’m a fertility physician – these are the six issues to consider earlier than freezing eggs 

Thousands of ladies endure the process yearly.

Egg freezing has taken off over the past decade, with the numbers turning to the fertility preserving remedy growing 10-fold within the UK over that point interval.

The course of, which sees a girl’s eggs collected, frozen and later thawed, has spiked in reputation as rising numbers of ladies have postpone having kids till later in life.

But embryologist Cynthia Hudson has warned of the significance of ladies being absolutely knowledgeable in the event that they select to go forward with the fertility remedy.

She has revealed to MailOnline the six issues ladies ought to think about, from what age they need to freeze their eggs to how a lot it’s going to price.

Egg freezing has taken off over the last decade, with the numbers turning to the fertility preserving treatment increasing 10-fold over the last decade. Pictured: Test tube with eggs samples

Egg freezing has taken off over the past decade, with the numbers turning to the fertility preserving remedy growing 10-fold over the past decade. Pictured: Test tube with eggs samples

At what age you need to freeze your eggs 

Ms Hudson, vice chairman of medical technique at IVF and cell administration firm TMRW Life Sciences, says there’s not one right reply on when a girl ought to freeze their eggs, as each state of affairs and girl is totally different.

She stated: ‘We know, for certain, that the standard of eggs declines with age, so logically, the sooner you freeze them, the higher.

‘The greatest probabilities of having a child might be had if you’re below 35-years-old while you freeze your eggs. 

‘But being over 35 merely means you’ll probably have to freeze extra.’

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) says 38 is the commonest age for egg freezing however some ladies wait till they’re of their 40s.

The causes one could select to pursue egg freezing can differ broadly. 

For instance, one may be anxious about fertility declining with age however will not be but able to have a baby or receiving life-saving however sterilising medical remedy.

Whatever the reason being, Ms Hudson says to seek the advice of your physician as quickly as attainable to debate your remedy choices.

How lengthy frozen eggs might be saved for 

Women within the UK can now retailer their frozen eggs for as much as 55 years. 

This rule, which additionally applies to sperm and embryos, has been in place since July 2022, when the period elevated from the earlier 10-year restrict. 

It implies that ladies within the UK are actually in a greater place to think about freezing their eggs at a youthful age – after they have the perfect likelihood of a profitable final result – as they don’t face restrictions on the size of time they will preserve them.

However, ladies might want to renew their consent for a clinic storing their eggs each 10 years.

And those that frozen their eggs earlier than July 2022 and need them to be saved for longer than 10 years have to contact their clinic to see whether it is attainable,

One of an important and sometimes ignored issues a girl ought to think about earlier than freezing her eggs is storage, Ms Hudson says. 

The aim of egg freezing is to have your eggs ‘safely saved for future use’, so she urges ladies to ask their clinic how their eggs shall be saved till they’re wanted.

Success charges  

Egg freezing needs to be thought of an insurance coverage coverage moderately than a assure, in line with the embryologist.

Ms Hudson says it will probably assist protect your fertility but it surely can’t promise success.

Success charges are largely depending on the lady’s age when they’re frozen, however consultants say what additionally issues is the overall variety of eggs obtainable to be used. 

Just like when utilising recent eggs, not each egg will fertilise, not each fertilised egg will end in a viable embryo, and never each viable embryo will result in a dwell beginning. 

The success charges amongst these aged below 35 are larger than those that are over, declining quickly after the age of 40.

One US research discovered that the possibility of a dwell beginning amongst ladies utilizing their very own frozen eggs was 39 per cent general, rising to 51 per cent amongst those that have been youthful than 38 after they froze their eggs. 

For these actively pursuing parenthood with recent eggs, additional makes an attempt at a being pregnant by present process further egg assortment cycles might be made.

It is crucial to know all the knowledge and the choices obtainable, Ms Hudson says, as remedy selections made now could decide the success of getting a baby sooner or later. 

Fertility specialists can reply questions and provides recommendation accordingly.

The price of egg freezing

The whole processes from freezing eggs to thawing within the UK prices £7,000 to £8,000, on common.

While having your eggs collected and frozen will clock up a invoice of round £3,350, this is only one a part of the method. 

Hormonal medicine that must be taken to stimulate egg manufacturing earlier than the process prices roughly £500-£1,500 on high of that. 

Storage prices are additional and differ between clinics however are usually between £125 and £350 per 12 months, in line with HFEA.

Thawing eggs and transferring them to the womb prices a mean of £2,500. 

NHS funded remedy is offered for some ladies who select to freeze their eggs earlier than most cancers remedy, however the quantity of funding and eligibility standards differ. 

At this time, there isn’t a NHS funding for sufferers who wish to freeze their eggs for different causes, however there are different choices one can pursue.

Some employers present one of these protection on to their staff, whereas others present financing choices on to sufferers.

When you want to use them, the eggs will be thawed and those that have survived intact will be injected with your partner's or donor's sperm (pictured)

When you wish to use them, the eggs shall be thawed and those who have survived intact shall be injected together with your companion’s or donor’s sperm (pictured)

If some fertility clinics are higher than others  

When contemplating future fertility, Ms Hudson insists the selection of clinic is paramount.

The HFEA is liable for licensing and inspecting UK fertility clinics, and so they publish scores for every fertility clinic inspected. 

Ms Hudson stated this can assist the decision-making course of, because it provides a sign of the success and affected person rankings of a clinic.

While success charges and value are key components, Ms Hudson additionally suggests you deal with proximity of the clinic to your work or residence.

She says it is because it’s possible you’ll have to make a number of journeys to the clinic, generally with brief discover.

And you also needs to enquire in regards to the expertise and tools utilized by the clinics to freeze and retailer your eggs, she says, because the ‘whole motive for freezing them now could be to have them protected and obtainable when prepared to make use of them’. 

What the egg-freezing course of includes  

For these contemplating freezing their eggs, Ms Hudson stated being conscious of what the method includes is important.

She stated that step one is to seek the advice of a fertility specialist to assessment the choices which might be obtainable. 

An preliminary analysis will probably contain blood assessments, a pelvic ultrasound scan and a dialogue of your medical historical past.

If you proceed with egg freezing, the primary stage of the method, referred to as ‘ovarian stimulation’, will begin. 

This includes hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to provide a number of eggs moderately than the one egg that’s usually and naturally launched every month. 

This remedy entails a number of visits to the fertility clinic over a couple of weeks, Ms Hudson says, together with your blood hormone ranges and ovaries commonly monitored.

When the time is true for them to return out, a medical skilled will use an ultrasound guided needle and, with a suction gadget, take away the eggs — seven to 14, on common, for girls aged below 38 — from the ovarian follicles.

The extracted eggs shall be transported into the laboratory, evaluated, and flash-frozen by an embryologist — utilizing an ultra-rapid process referred to as vitrification — after which usually positioned right into a flask containing liquid nitrogen. 

Storage at very chilly temperatures, beneath -150C (-238F), permits the eggs to stay viable to be used at a later date.

When you wish to use them, the eggs shall be thawed and those who have survived intact shall be injected together with your companion’s or donor’s sperm.

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