The Ultimate Fertility Guide

Everything you need to know about Egg Freezing, Sperm Freezing and IVF

Fertility Questions

Overview of egg freezing

Egg freezing is a process that involves preserving a woman's eggs for future use. Many women today are choosing to freeze their eggs as a way to take control of their fertility and delay pregnancy until the time is right for them. With egg freezing, a woman's eggs are stimulated to mature and then extracted and frozen for future use. This gives women the flexibility to focus on other areas of their lives, such as their careers, health, and personal goals, before starting a family. Egg freezing can be especially beneficial for women who are undergoing medical treatments that may affect their fertility, or those who wish to preserve their options for starting a family later in life. By freezing their eggs, women can increase their chances of having a biological child in the future.

General steps involved in the process:

  • Ovarian Stimulation: The first step is to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs using a combination of hormonal injections. The process usually takes about 8-12 days, during which time the woman will have to visit the fertility clinic regularly for ultrasounds and blood tests to monitor the growth of follicles and hormone levels.
  • Egg Retrieval: Once the follicles are mature enough, the eggs are retrieved using a minimally invasive surgical procedure called transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte aspiration. A fine needle is inserted through the vaginal wall and into the follicles to collect the eggs.
  • Freezing: The retrieved eggs are then frozen using a process called vitrification, which involves ultra-rapid cooling to -196°C, to prevent ice crystal formation and maintain the viability of the eggs.
  • Storage: The frozen eggs are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks until they are needed for future use.
  • Thawing and Fertilization: When the woman is ready to use the frozen eggs, they are thawed and fertilized with sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman's uterus in the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy.
  • What is IVF?

    IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is a technique where eggs are fertilised by sperm outside of the body. Once fertilization occurs and embryos are formed, they are allowed to grow and develop for a few days before being transferred into the woman's uterus. This process can increase the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy, particularly for women who may have fertility issues or who have delayed childbearing until later in life. IVF offers an alternative for women who have had their eggs frozen and are ready to start a family.

    What do you know about sperm freezing?

    Sperm freezing, also known as sperm cryopreservation, is a method of preserving sperm for future use. It involves the collection and freezing of sperm from a male, which can later be thawed and used for fertility treatments. Sperm freezing may be recommended for men who are undergoing medical treatment that may affect their fertility, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. It is also an option for men who may be at risk of infertility due to age, environmental factors or other medical conditions. While there is no guarantee of a successful pregnancy from frozen sperm, sperm freezing offers men the opportunity to preserve their fertility and increase their chances of having a biological child later in life.