Maternal age is one of the main factors we cannot beat when it comes to fertility. Your most fertile years are your 20s and early 30s, however, we realise that those years may not always be quite the right time to think about having a baby.
Women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs. As a woman ages, there is a decline in her egg supply, also known as her ‘biological clock’. Egg quality also diminishes with time, with miscarriages and chromosome defects becoming more common with an older age during pregnancy.
So if you believe children are a part of your future or you’d just like to give yourself the choice, then freezing your eggs to use in the future might be the right option for you.
What is egg freezing?
Bourn Hall offers the egg freezing procedure for women who want to extend their fertility potential but don’t yet have a partner or for married women who want to delay having children. This procedure is intended to pause the biological clock, and provides younger women with the ability to preserve their eggs until such time as they are ready to pursue parenthood.
Egg freezing is also important for women who undergo therapies, such as cancer chemotherapy or radiation that will cause damage to their ovaries. Eggs can be retrieved and frozen prior to the therapy for use at a later date.
Though there are two primary methods of freezing, at Bourn Hall we use Vitrification, a flash freezing method which tends to result in better egg quality and survival after the egg is thawed.
Is egg freezing for you?
Women who can benefit from egg freezing are:
1. Younger women who want to delay childbearing and wish to use their eggs in the future when their natural ability to reproduce would otherwise be reduced
2. Women with upcoming pelvic surgery or medical treatments that could result in the loss of ovarian tissue or eggs 3. Women at risk for early menopause because of their family history or genetic reasons
Advantages of egg freezing
• Reduce the pressure and anxiety of having kids at the ‘right time’
• Allow you to maintain your personal and professional goals and still maintain the dream of motherhood
• Protect the health of your younger and better quality eggs and increase your chances of conception through IVF in the future
• Have the choice to take control in determining when you want to conceive
Sperm freezing, also referred to as sperm banking, is a method of preserving sperm cells.
Sperm freezing is ideal for men who want to delay parenthood until a later stage in life or for men who plan to undergo certain types of medical treatments that could impact their sperm quality. Sperm may also be frozen as a backup during fertility treatment.
Semen is collected through ejaculation or surgically assisted retrieval like TESA or TESE. It is then analysed and the sperm cells are frozen. These frozen sperm samples can be stored in the laboratory for later use in an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).