Egg freezing and egg storage is a process in which a woman's eggs are collected, frozen and stored to help preserve her fertility. The technique for freezing & storing eggs has advanced greatly over recent years with significantly improved success rates of eggs surviving the freeze/thaw process, fertilising and resulting in a baby.
It is well known that age negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Fertility begins to decline as a woman approaches 30, and decreases very rapidly after age 35. Every woman is born with a limited supply of eggs (ovarian reserve) and, over time, the quantity and quality of her eggs are constantly decreasing, making it more difficult to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Freezing eggs offers women a way to preserve their fertility so they retain the potential to have healthy babies when the time is right for them.
Hundreds of babies have been born worldwide using frozen and thawed mature eggs, and we're one of the first clinics in the UK to have introduced a super-cooling technique for egg freezing called vitrification, which substantially improves egg survival rates. Over 85% of eggs undergoing this vitrification technique survive the freeze-thaw process.
Vitrification is an advanced ‘flash-freezing’ method of preserving eggs, sperm and embryos. Vitrification involves carefully placing your eggs on the tip of a special straw before plunging the straw into liquid nitrogen, which is kept at -196⁰C. This freezes the eggs instantaneously, preventing the cell damage that can sometimes occur with ‘slow freezing’ methods of egg preservation.
The frozen eggs are then stored in the liquid nitrogen, and the extremely low temperature ensures that there is no biological activity within the egg, allowing them to be preserved for many years without deteriorating in quality.