How Does Egg Freezing Work? And What Are Its Benefits?

Egg freezing can preserve some of your eggs so that they are available for use in future fertility treatments. Women choose to have their eggs frozen for both medical and personal reasons. The procedure is relatively simple and the risk of complications is low. However, it is important to get expert advice on the risks and benefits before deciding if egg freezing is the right option for you.

Benefits of Egg Freezing

What Happens When You Freeze Your Eggs?

The egg freezing procedure works in the same way as egg collection for IVF. The main difference is in what happens to your eggs after they’ve been collected. Instead of being fertilised right away, they will be preserved by a special freezing technique.d in various ways, depending on your needs. For example, you might need to use donor eggs, donor sperm or a surrogate in order to have a baby. The technique can also be adjusted to increase the chances of success by injecting individual sperm cells directly into the egg if they aren’t able to fertilise it by themselves. This is known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

When you have your eggs frozen:

  • You take medication to stimulate over-production of mature eggs.
  • Eggs are collected from your ovaries using a needle, you’ll be sedated or under a general anaesthetic.
  • Eggs are frozen and stored so that they can be used for IVF in the future.
  • Frozen eggs will usually be injected with sperm using the ICSI procedure during IVF.

The procedure may need to be repeated multiple times in order to collect enough eggs to have a good chance of successfully conceiving in the future. The eggs may only need to be frozen for a short time, but they can be stored for years if necessary.

Benefits of Egg Freezing

Egg freezing can ensure that you have eggs available if you aren’t able to conceive naturally in the future. The benefits of egg freezing include:

  • Preserves fertility before medical treatment that could damage it.
  • Enables you to have IVF at a later age even if eggs can’t be collected at that time.
  • Makes you feel less anxious or pressured about your fertility.
  • Allows you to take more control over your fertility.
  • Preserves any leftover eggs after fertility treatment if you don’t want them to be destroyed for ethical reasons or so they can be used in the future (although embryo freezing is another option).

Should You Freeze Your Eggs?

Although egg freezing can be a good option for some women, it isn’t right for everyone. It’s important to be aware that there is no guarantee that frozen eggs will result in a successful pregnancy. The quality of the eggs can deteriorate and IVF isn’t always successful even with unfrozen eggs, especially for older recipients. You will also need to take medication and go through the egg collection procedure, both of which pose a small risk of complications. You should also consider the cost of storing your eggs.

If you’re considering freezing your eggs then it’s important to discuss the pros and cons with an expert. Egg freezing has helped many women to conceive and it can be the only way to preserve your fertility if you’ve having cancer treatment or your ovaries need to be removed. However, it’s essential to have realistic expectations and to be aware of the potential risks too.