Women are born with the entire supply of eggs – approximately 2 million. But, by the time they reach puberty, half of them are gone. By the age of 35 only 6% of eggs remain, and at age 40 less than 20% of eggs are likely to be genetically normal.
Many people think that infertility treatment only involves procedures such as IVF, once infertility in a person has been established. But, there are also measures that can be taken when a person knows they want to have a child later in life but may not feel ready at that moment in time.
If you’re looking into egg freezing to preserve your eggs, you might want to consider the following information.
What is fertility preservation and how does it work?
Fertility preservation is a service provided by fertility clinics like RHG. The clinic can harvest eggs (or a sample of sperm), and preserve them in a frozen state in the laboratory for use later in life. The preserved gametes are then paired with other procedures such as IVF when the individual is ready to conceive.
Egg freezing is time sensitive
Eggs should be frozen when you are young but not too young. For the best chance of a successful live birth in the future, it is best to preserve your eggs before you are 35.
Although the highest live birth rates from previously frozen eggs are shown to come from women who undergo the procedure before they are thirty, in the UK eggs can currently only be stored for ten years. So, by freezing your eggs in your late 20s or early 30s, before your fertility starts to decline more rapidly, you’ll be more likely to make use of your preserved eggs.
How many eggs should you freeze?
Providing the eggs are good quality, the more eggs you freeze, the more likely you are to have a live birth in the future.
Research suggests that women should seek to freeze around 15 eggs to have a reasonable chance of a future pregnancy. This number also varies slightly with age. To have a 75% chance of having one live birth, a 34-year-old would need to freeze 10 eggs. A 37-year-old woman would need to freeze 20 eggs, and a woman aged 42 would need to freeze 61 eggs to have the same success. However, our consultants will be able to provide expert advice on an individual basis.
Freezing eggs can be costly, and it may not work
Deciding to freeze your eggs can be costly financially, physically and emotionally. Because the number of eggs produced during a single cycle of ovarian stimulation varies based on age, remaining ovarian reserve as well as response to the stimulation cycle, we might need you to embark on the procedure more than once. This can place a strain on a person financially, and physically.
For women who froze their eggs when they were 36 years of age, the live birth rate from egg freezing remains low. And older women are at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and birth. Both scenarios can be emotionally challenging, but our experienced fertility and obstetrics teams at RHG are on hand every step of the way to offer the best patient care.
Not all fertility clinics are the same
It’s important to check the experience and success rate of the clinic. Success rates will give you a better understanding of your chances of carrying a healthy baby to term. The best way to know your own individual chances of success from a treatment at Reproductive Health Group is to meet with one of our experienced consultants. But, if you would like to learn about our processes as well as the success rates according to the source of eggs and the female age, we publish verified and externally audited data. This ensures that the information is clear, transparent and trustworthy.