Egg freezing is a method of storing a woman’s unfertilised eggs to allow her to try to conceive at a later date, when natural conception would be unlikely. It may been seen as a way of preserving the possibility of fertility for women who are not in a position to becoming pregnant straight away, or whose fertility is as risk for medical reasons such as cancer treatment.
Frozen eggs may be stored for many years without significant deterioration. When the woman is ready to use her eggs, they are warmed, and then fertilised with sperm. The aim is for the fertilised egg to develop into an embryo, which can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus giving a chance of pregnancy.
Woman may consider freezing of her own oocytes because of:
- facing medical treatment that may affect your fertility, such as some forms of cancer treatment
- concerned about your fertility declining as you get older and feel you are not currently in a position to have a child
- at risk of premature menopause or suffer from endometriosis which involves the ovaries.
The method for freezing eggs varies between clinics but studies show that the most effective method for freezing eggs is a rapid method called ‘vitrification’.