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What are the costs of egg freezing and is it a worthwhile investment?

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Egg Freezing Cost

Readers and patients frequently ask me about egg freezing. One of the most common questions is about egg freezing costs and whether egg freezing is a worthwhile investment so I want to provide a selection of the most reliable and credible ‘must read’ publications, articles and blogs on egg freezing for your information.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing, also known as egg cryopreservation, involves freezing and storage of eggs so you can try to have a biological baby in the future. This is called fertility preservation.

Ovaries are full of immature eggs. These eggs contain genetic material used to create your biological baby. The eggs can be stimulated to develop, then be removed, frozen and stored for a period of time e.g., months or years. When it's time for the eggs to be used, they can be thawed and fertilised with sperm using a process called ICSI to create one or more embryos which are transferred into the uterus.

Be aware that it's possible your frozen eggs might not survive the thawing process or create viable embryos, subsequent pregnancy or live birth. Your Fertility specialist can provide you with information on this. The publications by the Human Fertilisation & Embryo Authority (HFEA) linked in this article are a reliable source of information.

Types of cryopreservation to preserve fertility include:

· Egg freezing – freezing eggs that have been retrieved from ovaries.

· Sperm freezing – freezing sperm (including donor sperm)

· Embryo freezing – where the sperm and eggs are used to create embryos. Then the embryos are frozen.

· Ovarian tissue or Testicular tissue freezing – where egg or sperm can not be obtained for freezing.

Fertility preservation by egg freezing is performed for medical reasons, social reasons or a combination of both

Medical reasons

In these situations, the patient requires treatment for a medical problem and that treatment is known to cause infertility.

In the UK egg freezing may be funded by the NHS for patients who are undergoing certain cancer treatments that could have a direct detrimental impact on fertility.

If you are trying to preserve your fertility because of other medical conditions e.g. endometriosis or gender reassignment surgery state funding may not be available to you. Funding is decided on a case by case basis by your local clinical commissioning group. Your GP or specialist doctor will be able to advise on this process.

Social Reasons (Non-medical reasons)

Social egg freezing is used to preserve fertility for patients who are not ready or in a position to start trying for a family and who wants to try as much as possible to retain the ability to have a biological family in the future. Eggs frozen for social reasons are not funded by the NHS or private insurance companies.

What are the costs of egg freezing and is it a worthwhile investment?

The ‘must-read’ blog posts and articles on egg freezing

(Click on the links to read the blog posts)

A good point to start is on the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority’s page on egg freezing. The HFEA is the regulator of fertility clinics and research centres in the UK. Their web page on egg freezing gives a good overview on reasons why your eggs can be frozen, the process, egg freezing costs (read page 4, the penultimate page) and what to do if you freeze your eggs but no longer need to use them.

The British Journal of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists includes a debate with FOR and AGAINST arguments on whether single women approaching their late thirties should be offered social egg freezing.

You can find useful and interesting stats and figures about egg freezing in the publication, Egg freezing in fertility treatment, Trends and figures: 2010-2016 by the HFEA. This publication is helpful because it gives stats based on figures submitted by UK fertility clinics and discusses egg freezing success rates.

Stories and Hot topics

I’ve also included some useful and considered articles from mainstream newspaper publications. This article published in The Guardian discussed concerns raised by doctors and patients that women had not being given the full picture of the risks of egg freezing.

Author, Rose Hartley, who has endometriosis, shares her story of freezing her eggs in her early 30s after being told she had a low ovarian reserve.

I'll keep this updated xx


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