It’s been well reported that more and more women are delaying motherhood until much later in life, but it’s also well-known that natural fertility is often at its lowest point when many women are now deciding the time is right for a family.
So could egg-freezing be the answer? Researchers for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine have declared that egg-freezing should now no longer be considered an ‘experimental’ procedure and that it does in fact have real, tangible success.
Studies found that younger women have just as much chance of becoming pregnant using frozen eggs, as they would if they used fresh for their treatment. So does it mean that egg-freezing now offers women fertility insurance, that literally stops your biological clock until you’re ready?
What’s important to remember about egg-freezing as a means of fertility preservation – whether it’s for social or medical reasons - is that it doesn’t offer a cast-iron guarantee of pregnancy.
Firstly, no one can predict whether eggs will survive the freeze/thaw process. Vitrification – the ‘fast-freeze’ method used to freeze the eggs – may have led to greater pregnancy success using frozen eggs, because there’s no risk of ice crystals damaging the cells, but it doesn’t mean that every egg is able to withstand the process.
And success also depends upon your age when your eggs were recovered for freezing. Older women who decide they wish to freeze their eggs in their mid-thirties are already at the point where their egg quality is declining. Natural fertility reduces in your thirties and even more sharply after the age of 35. So simply, the earlier you decide to freeze your eggs, and therefore the younger you are, the better your chance of success when you do decide you wish to have a family.
Here at Manchester Fertility we are always open and honest with all our patients about their chances of success and if you’re interested in egg-freezing this is especially important. We will always be clear with you about your eventual chances of pregnancy, and the costs involved in egg-freezing, so you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
For more details about egg-freezing, click here.