What is egg freezing?
Egg freezing is a method of storing a woman’s eggs that enables her to use them later in life to try and have a baby. When a woman is ready to use her eggs, they are thawed and then fertilised with sperm. Egg freezing is a great option for women who aren’t in a position to try for a baby now, or whose fertility is at risk for medical reasons.
Why is it a good idea?
A woman is most fertile in her 20s and early 30s, when her ovaries contain a large number of healthy eggs. However, many women face the dilemma that key factors such as readiness in terms of career, relationship status and emotional situation or desire for children do not coincide with her most fertile years. Egg freezing allows women more choice in the timing of when they try to become pregnant.
When is the best time for a woman to freeze her eggs?
The age a woman is when her eggs are frozen significantly affects her eventual chance of pregnancy. The younger she is, the higher the likelihood of producing more eggs to freeze.
A woman’s ovarian function declines during the 10-to-15 years before menopause, despite the fact that she continues to have regular monthly periods. Women most commonly decide to freeze their eggs in their early-to-mid 30s.
What does egg freezing involve?
To obtain the eggs for freezing, a woman undergoes hormonal stimulation over 10-12 days. This stimulates a group of eggs to mature. The stimulation medications are usually self-administered. The eggs are removed from the ovaries using an ultrasound-guided probe while the person is under sedation. A needle passes through the vaginal wall into the ovary, the entire process taking approximately 10-15 minutes.
What are the success rates in terms of pregnancy?
A woman who freezes 10 eggs before the age of 35 has about a 70 percent chance of pregnancy. The two most important factors that determine the chance of having a baby from frozen eggs are your age when your eggs are frozen and the number of eggs that are stored.
How much will it cost me?
Egg freezing costs approximately $5000-10,000 ‘out of pocket’. Some costs are partially covered by Medicare and also by private health Insurance.
Who should I talk to if I am interested?
Your GP can refer you to a fertility specialist, who will talk to you about your specific circumstances and provide you with detailed information that you can take away and read prior to making any decisions. Your WOGS obstetrician/gynaecologist will also be able to talk to you about egg freezing and give you more information on the subject. She will also provide recommendations for a fertility specialist who is best suited to your individual needs.