To freeze or not to freeze
Freezing your eggs is seen by many as an insurance policy – allowing people to delay having children, while they focus on different aspects of their life. Some are unsure if it’s right for them as egg freezing is expensive and invasive. Determining whether freezing your eggs is worth the expense can be tricky.
So, should you freeze your eggs? Ultimately, it’s your decision, but here’s what we do know.
Step-by-step egg freezing
Here is what the journey looks like:
- Go to a fertility clinic for a set of fertility tests.
- Have a consultation with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan (sometimes you also have a consultation before the tests).
- Hormone stimulation – daily hormone injections to stimulate the production of eggs in the ovaries. You self-inject using a small needle at home, usually into the thigh or tummy.
- Monitoring – your ovaries are monitored throughout hormone stimulation, using transvaginal ultrasound to check the development of eggs and time the collection procedure.
- Collection – an egg collection procedure is performed under sedation in a fertility clinic. A probe is inserted into the vagina, with a needle piercing through the vaginal wall and into the ovary to “suck out” eggs from the ovary. The eggs are then cryogenically frozen.
We know it’s expensive, but what’s the total cost?
Egg freezing is not cheap and there are a lot of separate costs to consider. It’s also worth noting that the below summary (taken from the HFEA) is for one cycle of egg collection but some people require multiple cycles to collect enough eggs.
Our top tip: Make sure you get a fully costed treatment plan from your clinic early on so you’re not caught out by unexpected “extras”.
Does It Work?
You’re probably wondering, how likely is egg collection and freezing to be successful? Unfortunately, the answer is, it depends. The age at which you freeze (the younger the better), the number of eggs you freeze, the age you are when you want to use the eggs and the clinic you attend are all factors that impact how likely you are to have a baby if you need to use your frozen eggs in future. We recommend discussing the likelihood of success with your fertility clinic. One thing is for certain, it’s not a guarantee.
Is It Worth It?
Two recent studies showed that most people that had frozen their eggs went on to conceive naturally. However, despite not needing to use them, the vast majority of people (91%) reported having no regrets over their decision to freeze and nearly everyone (98%) said they would recommend it to a friend.
It’s an incredibly personal decision and we’re not going to tell you what is right for you.