Egg freezing might be an option if you’re not ready to become pregnant now, but you know that you want to have children in the future. This treatment can also be used if you wish to preserve your eggs due to medical reasons. Simply put, egg freezing allows you to protect your future fertility.
We understand that there is a lot to consider before contacting a clinic about egg freezing, so we’ve put together the following information to help you make an informed decision…
Step 1 – The Initial Assessment
The first step is to schedule an Initial Assessment with our fertility clinic.
Prior to your consultation with a doctor, our patient services team will send you electronic registration and consent forms to complete. You should also send copies of any relevant tests or investigations you have already had to the clinic, including any previous gynaecological issues, surgeries, or long-term medical conditions so that the doctor has all the information available.
Please make a note of the date of your last menstrual period before your assessment, as this will help the team confirm where you are in your cycle. If you have any recent scan, blood, STI or smear test results, these will also be very useful when getting started. At the consultation, the doctor will most likely ask you to book an ultrasound scan to check your ovarian reserve and any other matters identified in the consultation. Our patient services team will know which type of scan has been advised, when it should take place, and will book it with you at a time that also works for you.
Finally, please feel free to bring along a list of any questions you may have. We want you to have all the information you need to help with your egg freezing decision.
Step 2 – Health and Screening Tests
Before any egg freezing treatment, you will need to be tested for any infectious diseases, like HIV and hepatitis. You may also require a further ultrasound scan if a significant time has elapsed since your consultation.
Step 3 – Hormone Injections
To begin the egg freezing process, you will need daily hormone injections to make your ovaries release more eggs than usual (ovarian stimulation). Collecting as many eggs as possible improves the success rates for this procedure. During this stimulation process, you will be carefully monitored, with ultrasound scans and blood tests, to check how your body is responding.
Step 4 – Egg Collection
Egg collection is carried out with a needle, guided to the correct area with an ultrasound probe. It takes around 15-20 minutes to complete the procedure, which is performed under sedation. Ideally, this should result in a collection 10-12 eggs for freezing.
Step 5 – Egg Freezing
Before your eggs are frozen, excess water is removed to reduce any chances of damage. They are then vitrified and stored in liquid nitrogen until they are needed.
Step 6 – Storage
By law, and unless there are special medical circumstances, eggs may only be kept for a maximum of ten years. Many consider this law to be outdated and there are pressures on lawmakers to change the law to extend this period.