Egg & sperm freezing

We offer comprehensive fertility preservation services for individuals and couples.

Egg and sperm freezing is seen as a sensible insurance policy if you aren’t yet ready to start a family.

Egg freezing

We offer comprehensive fertility preservation services for individuals and couples.

Egg and sperm freezing is seen as a sensible insurance policy if you aren’t yet ready to start a family.

A woman aged 35 with a normal ovarian reserve could have an 80% chance of a future live birth when she freezes 20 eggs.

Egg and sperm freezing at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy

Egg freezing

There are many reasons a woman may wish to postpone having children, including career goals, later marriage, or financial barriers. But biologically, as women become older their chances of getting pregnant begin to decrease. One key reason for this is that the quality and quantity of their eggs declines with age. This decline steepens after the mid-thirties and becomes even more pronounced over the age of 40.

Therefore, freezing your eggs at a stage in your life when your ovaries are capable of producing high quality eggs – in order to use those eggs for a future pregnancy – is seen as a sensible insurance policy if you aren’t ready to start a family yet.

In recent years we have seen a momentous advance in egg freezing technology, reflected in much better success rates.

Those who could potentially benefit from egg freezing include:

  • Women concerned about their fertility declining with age
  • Young women with family history of premature ovarian failure (POF)
  • Young women with a low ovarian reserve who are not ready to have children yet
  • Women who do not have a partner (and decline egg donation if needed later in life)
  • Women who do not have a partner (and do not want to use donor sperm to create embryos)
  • Women who feel as though egg freezing is ethically more acceptable than embryo freezing
  • Couples who may have ethical issues with discarding unused frozen embryos and would prefer to discard unused unfertilised eggs
  • Those who are at risk of injury or death, for example a member of the armed forces deployed to a war zone
  • Women facing medical interventions (such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and some surgeries) that could damage their future fertility
  • Females about to undergo gender reassignment surgery

At The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, by far the most common reason we see for egg freezing is the need for more time – time to find the right partner, to create a stable financial base for children, or to progress sufficiently in a career before the demands of parenting.

In society there is a general lack of awareness regarding the female fertility timeline (the biological clock), and the availability of egg freezing. Couples should be encouraged to consider parenthood sooner rather than later, and society should work towards a social framework that is financially and structurally supportive of young families. But meanwhile, for women who are simply not ready to have children yet, egg freezing is an option to consider.

Fertility preservation should not compromise a young woman’s future chances of spontaneous conception throughout her natural reproductive lifespan. Egg freezing is considered a back-up insurance policy. If you never use your frozen eggs because you have achieved your desired number of healthy children, you can donate your eggs (either for research or to help an infertile woman), or you can discard them.

Preparation for egg freezing is no different to that of IVF. First, you’ll be carefully assessed so we can choose the right protocol and medication dose for your ovarian stimulation. A woman usually produces one egg per cycle, but since more eggs are needed for a good chance of a future live birth, we stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs (8-12) via injections of fertility medicines. We use one kind of medicine to stimulate egg production and another to prevent you from ovulating before it is time for egg collection. This process is known as controlled ovarian stimulation.

All through the process we monitor you carefully through scans and blood tests, fine-tuning the protocol to ensure your ovaries are responding in the best way. After 10-12 days of injections, the eggs are matured with a final trigger injection and collected 36 hours later. Egg retrieval is performed under sedation. Only mature eggs are frozen.

Here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy we use only the most leading-edge, up to date technology, so all our freezing is conducted via vitrification. Vitrification is a ‘flash freezing’ method in which the eggs are frozen within 5-10 minutes, dramatically reducing the risk of any cell damage that can occur when eggs are frozen over hours via outdated slow freezing methods.

To use the eggs later in life, they are thawed and injected with sperm, using a technique called ICSI. One of the resulting embryos is replaced into the woman’s uterus a few days later.

Due to incredible advances in freezing technology in recent years, UK law now allows any woman who so chooses to keep her eggs in storage for up to 55 years. This makes it much more viable for a woman to freeze her eggs during her peak fertility years, because she needn’t worry about the storage time limit running out before she is ready to have children. (In the past, the law allowed only 10 years storage except in exceptional circumstances). A woman now has much more control over when she can freeze her eggs and when she decides to use them.

Evidence to date indicates no increase in chromosomal abnormalities, birth defects or developmental defects of children conceived from frozen eggs. On the contrary, using eggs frozen at a younger age can reduce the risk of miscarriage and the risk of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities in children born to women over the age of 35.

Pregnancy rates for IVF with frozen and thawed eggs are now broadly comparable to those using fresh eggs. This means that a woman aged 40 or above is significantly more likely to achieve a healthy pregnancy using eggs that were produced in her mid-30s than using fresh eggs over 40 years old.

Generally speaking, patients who are younger at the time of egg retrieval will tend to require fewer frozen eggs for a good chance of a future live birth. But of course, the number of eggs that can be retrieved per cycle will tend to decrease as a woman gets older. To illustrate, fertility scholars anticipate that a woman aged 35 with a normal ovarian reserve could have an 80% chance of a future live birth when she freezes 20 eggs, 50-60% chance of two children and 10-20% chance of three children. For some women, one egg retrieval cycle will yield enough eggs; others will need more.

The average age of women freezing their eggs is currently around the 37-38 year mark, which does not result in high success rates. We encourage younger women in their late twenties and early thirties to freeze their eggs if they are considering delaying parenthood.

That said, while age is always a key fertility factor, the quality and quantity of remaining eggs will vary from woman to woman at any given age. That is why here at The Fertility and Gynaecology Academy, we go to great lengths to ensure that our patients are fully informed and as confident as possible in their decisions. If you are considering egg freezing, we will leave no stone unturned in testing and consultation, giving you a picture of your ovarian reserve before you undergo egg retrieval, to help you determine if it is right for you.

Our central London clinic is home to some of the UK’s finest fertility doctors and state of the art equipment and we are pleased to offer our patients:

  • The latest leading-edge fertility technology
  • Unbeaten expertise in ovarian stimulation, including careful monitoring with scans and hormone tests, to ensure that the resulting eggs are mature and freezable
  • Freezing with vitrification – the latest, most advanced egg freezing method
  • Transparent egg freezing cycle packages that include freezing process and storage for one year. See Fees for more details.
  • Affordable annual storage after the first year.
  • If you do not need your eggs you can donate them to another woman, or offer them for use in research.

Please refer to our Fees page for associated costs and a detailed price. breakdown

Sperm freezing

Around 30% of fertility problems come from male factor infertility. And many people don’t realise this, but men are also subject to age-related fertility decline. While some men can and do father children late in life, advancing age is associated with negative impacts on testicular function and quality of sperm. In short, older men are more likely to experience fertility problems. Advanced paternal age has also been linked to greater risk of chromosomal abnormalities and genetic defects. With this in mind, some men are choosing to freeze their sperm preemptively.

The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy offers a comprehensive sperm freezing service.

Men who might benefit from this include:

  • Those who have a low sperm count or are producing sperm that is showing signs of deterioration
  • Men who wish to delay fatherhood but worry about sperm deterioration
  • Patients due to undergo surgery, chemotherapy or some other treatment that could impair future fertility
  • Anyone who may have difficulty producing a sperm sample on the day of fertility treatment
  • Those who are at risk of injury or death, for example a member of the armed forces deployed to a war zone
  • Patients who have produced a surplus as a result of surgical sperm removal (PESA/TESA)

Not all of the sperm survive the freezing process. Therefore, to assess the sperm survival after each freeze, we perform a thorough analysis. During freeze time, the genetic content of sperm remains unaffected and the survival of sperm after the freezing process is very high. Due to the incredible advances in freezing technology, UK law now allows sperm to be frozen for up to 55 years, should the patient wish. Of course, consent must always be obtained by the male patient before the sperm is stored.

Consent must always be obtained by the male patient before the sperm is stored.

Sperm freezing

Get in touch today

Please refer to our Fees page for associated costs and a detailed price breakdown.

We are home to some of the UK’s leading fertility doctors and state of the art technology. To find out more about egg and/or sperm freezing with us, call the clinic on 020 7224 1880.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to go ahead, you can book a consultation by clicking below.