Egg Freezing

Fertility Preservation: Egg Freezing


Egg freezing is a way of proactively planning to protect your fertility. When you are not in the right situation to try for your family right away, egg freezing offers a way to preserve your fertility and protect your fertility potential.

Age is the single most important factor that affects fertility. As time passes, fertility declines and it can become difficult to conceive. The right time will vary from person to person and depend on your personal circumstances and life plans, but the younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the more likely you are to have a greater number of eggs to freeze, which increases the chance of a successful outcome from treatment if the eggs are required later on.

We are always realistic with our patients that egg freezing isn’t a guarantee of a future family. In our consultations, we will explore all of the options together so that each patient can make an informed decision. Some patients may consider going about starting their family, some may decide to freeze embryos, and others may decide to freeze their eggs.

OUR EXPERIENCE: Waterstone Clinic was the first clinic in Ireland to use the open system method of egg vitrification. It is considered the gold standard, delivering the best results.


Egg Freezing

Frequently Asked Questions about Egg Freezing

Having your family might not be part of your plan or a possibility at the moment, but biology hasn’t changed with modern times. Fertility doesn’t last forever, and egg freezing can take some of the pressure off around important life choices and keep your options open. Having your fertility tested will let you know if this is something you should consider.

The chance of conceiving naturally declines as we age because the amount and quality of the eggs in the ovaries diminish over time. Freezing eggs in your twenties or early thirties ensures that your younger and better quality eggs are available for you to use at a later time, should fertility treatment become necessary.

Egg freezing is a process where your eggs are collected from your ovaries and then frozen and stored. At a future date, if you have problems conceiving, you will be able to use your young eggs to try for children. Egg Freezing does not guarantee a future family, but it gives reassurance that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of conceiving in the years ahead when the time is right. Egg freezing can alleviate the pressure surrounding important life choices, like finding a partner, pursuing a career, education or even travel.

Ideally, you should freeze your eggs in your late twenties or early thirties. Egg freezing does not decrease your chance of conceiving naturally, but it provides reassurance that if you have trouble conceiving later, you have your younger eggs available to you to use.

If you need to use the eggs in later years, the eggs will be thawed, fertilised with sperm from a partner or donor, and cultured to become embryos. The embryo(s) will be transferred to your uterus to produce a pregnancy. The younger you are when you freeze your eggs, the higher chance they have to produce a pregnancy.

While many countries limit the amount of time eggs can be stored, in Ireland, there is currently no limit. You will be able to use the eggs for an embryo transfer up to the age of 50, in discussion with the clinical team.

The treatment process starts with your menstrual cycle. You will take daily hormones to stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple follicles. When the ultrasound shows the follicles are the right size, the eggs are collected. The eggs are then vitrified (frozen) and stored at a very low temperature.

This will depend on your preferences and your fertility test results. You will discuss the likely number of eggs the consultant would expect to retrieve from your ovaries and make a plan together. You may be advised to have another cycle to bank enough eggs (ideally 15-20 eggs) for the optimum chance of success later.

You will need to attend some short ultrasound appointments in the clinic as part of your treatment. You will need to take a day off for egg collection, but your normal routine can return the day after the egg collection procedure.

Experiences of Egg Freezing

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