Egg freezing is a way to protect your fertility potential. It involves cryopreserving your eggs until you are ready to use them to start a family.
Your eggs will be retrieved and stored in our laboratory in liquid nitrogen. When you want to try for a baby, your eggs will be thawed and assessed, ready for use in fertility treatment. Currently eggs can legally be stored for up to 10 years, which can be extended to up to 55 years in certain circumstances.
Many women are now choosing to egg freeze, for different social and medical reasons. You may wish to consider egg freezing:
- To try for a family later in life. Egg freezing allows you to freeze and store your eggs whilst your fertility is still good.
- Prior to medical treatment such as chemotherapy, which can affect fertility.
- If you are transitioning from female to male gender but want to be able to have a family in future.
Initial investigations scans and counselling
Egg freezing starts with pre-treatment tests to assess your fertility, to make sure that egg freezing is right for you. Tests include measuring your ovarian reserve, which gives us a good indication of number of eggs in your ovaries and your likely response to the stimulation needed for egg freezing. You will also meet a counsellor to discuss fertility preservation.
Consultation with a Fertility Specialist
Your fertility consultant will take a full medical history and discuss the results of your tests. We will explain your likely chances of future pregnancy so you can make an informed decision.
You will complete consent forms that give your consent for us to collect, freeze and store your eggs. Your consent forms detail how long you wish to store your eggs for, and what should happen to your eggs if something happens to you.
The first stage of egg freezing is ovarian stimulation. This involves using tailored doses of fertility drugs to help you produce mature eggs for freezing.
Around 35-38 hours after the ‘trigger’ injection, egg retrieval takes place in our clinic theatre under ultrasound guidance and conscious sedation. The eggs are retrieved from the follicles where they have been growing.
Your eggs are cryopreserved in our laboratory using a technique called vitrification, a special fast-freezing method which ensures high survival rates for frozen eggs.
Egg freezing at Manchester Fertility is a personalised and highly-tailored process focused on egg quality, not quantity, for your best chance of future pregnancy.
Our state-of-the-art laboratory uses the most advanced freezing techniques and equipment, to safeguard the eggs in our care.
We will always be transparent about your future pregnancy chances and advise if egg freezing is right for you.
Chances of future pregnancy using your frozen eggs depends on lots of different factors. Especially your age at the time your eggs are frozen as the younger you are, the higher the quality of the eggs that are being preserved.
Pregnancy is also influenced by the number of eggs we retrieve, how successfully they survive the freeze-thaw process, how many are fertilised and how many quality embryos are available for transfer.
Depending on your age and medical history, we may advise you to consider IVF and freeze embryos instead. You can have IVF using donor sperm at Manchester Fertility, so you have embryos to freeze.
Egg freezing at Manchester Fertility costs £3995*. This includes:
- Fertility medications
- Cycle planning
- Injection teaching
- Blood tests & monitoring scans
- Ultrasound guided egg collection & sedation
- Egg freezing for up to 10 years
It’s also important to consider the future costs of treatment when you freeze your eggs.
Fertility treatment using frozen eggs involves preparing your body for pregnancy and fertilising your thawed eggs to create embryos via ICSI, where each one of your eggs is inseminated by an individual sperm to maximise the chance of fertilisation. You can use partner sperm or donor sperm in future treatment.
The best resulting embryo will then be transferred into your womb . Any remaining good quality embryos can be frozen and stored for future use or for sibling treatment to have another child.
We can provide you with an indication of the typical treatment costs you can expect when you are ready to use your eggs.
* You will be given a full breakdown of egg freezing costs at your consultation.
The younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the better. Egg quality is affected by your age and typically fertility and egg quality starts to decline in your 30s. Egg freezing when you are below the age of 35 will give you your best chance of a successful future pregnancy.
The quality of your frozen eggs will not be affected by how long they are in storage. Frozen eggs do not deteriorate in any way, they are safely preserved in continuous deep-freeze temperatures. Our laboratory has a full back up and alarm system to protect your eggs during the years they are in storage with us.
You can use donor sperm to fertilise your frozen eggs if you do not have a partner in future. We have no waiting list for donor sperm and can offer you an extensive choice of UK sperm donors from our own donor bank, to help you have your family when you are ready.